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A moving story about estrangement and intimacy, race and privilege, identity and belonging from the bestselling author of Before and After Miriam Vener feels trapped in the comfortable white middle-class life she leads with her family in Houston during the 1980s. That life suddenly shatters with the appearance, after almost eighteen years, of Veronica (Ronnee), her biracial daughter born in Mississippi in the sixties when Miriam was a civil rights activist. Hot tempered, sensitive, manipulative and deeply hurt at her mother's disappearance from her life, Ronnee has been raised by her father, a formerly brilliant college professor who forbade her to see her white mother. Half a Heart charts the emotionally fraught terrain of the mother and daughter's reunion and Ronnee's divided sense of self and loyalty. With which family, and which race, does she identify? How does all this affect her relationships with her newly discovered half-sister, her white boyfriend, and the father she is rebelling against? Half a Heart is a searingly honest vel of public and private ideals betrayed and hopes reignited by one of our foremost velists.
Rosellen Brown is the author of the New York Times bestseller Before and After and three other novels, The Autobiography of My Mother, Tender Mercies, and Civil Wars ; a collection of stories, Street Games ; and three collections of poetry, Some Deaths in the Delta, Cora Fry, and Cora Fry's Pillow Book. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.