On Easter Day, 1939, at Marian Anderson's epochal concert on the Washington Mall, David Strom, a German Jewish emigre scientist, meets Delia Daley, a young Philadelphia Negro studying to be a concert singer. Their mutual love of music draws them together, and - against all odds, advice, and better judgment - they marry. They vow to raise their offspring beyond time, beyond race, beyond belonging, steeped in song. But their three children, the unwitting subjects of this experiment, must survive America's brutal here and now.
Jonah, Joseph and Ruth grow up during the early Civil Rights era, come of age in the riot-torn 1960s, and live out their adulthoods through the racially retrenched late century. Jonah, the eldest, "whose voice could make heads of state repent," pursues a life devoted to his parents' beloved classical music. Ruth, the youngest, chooses a path of militant activism and repudiates the white culture her brother represents. Joseph, the middle child and the narrator of this far-ranging, multigenerational tale, struggles to remain loyal to both siblings. As a polarized America threatens to tear the family apart, only their deep, shared love of song stands any hope of preserving them.
Original title: The Time of Our Singing
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction