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Greenwood & Archer

Title:  Greenwood & Archer
Author:  Marlene Banks
Pages:  352
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Lift Every Voice
Greenwood & Archer is the sequel to Son of a Preacherman.  Though fictional, the story is borne out of an actual historical event.  One of the reasons I love historical fiction is learning about history I have forgotten or was never taught.  Many historical events can be lost due to the nature of the multitude of everyday life happenings.  It seems that we are accustomed to seeing something on TV and then forget about the event unless it is brought to the forefront of our life through some report, novel, or other medium.
In this story, readers are thrust back into the year 1921, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Characters introduced in the prior novel are again present here.  (I read this novel without having read Son of a Preacherman.).  It may have helped to read the first book in order to understand some of the references in this novel that characters made to prior events, but I enjoyed the story nonetheless.  Reading a tale based on actual events reminds us that what we have today has not always been the case whether it is good or bad.
There are two main families learning and grappling with differences of just believing in Jesus and living for Jesus.  Women in the story suffer some horrendous trials and watching how the author developed their response was intriguing.  Some of the lead male characters are at different times at odds with each other, a couple even more intensely angry and unforgiving until a life-threatening loss awakens them.  During the timeframe of the novel, women are learning to break out from what they see as confining boundaries.  One woman’s endeavors come at a very high cost, especially when women aren’t allowed to have a profession outside the home.  Just what is this female character willing to do that will come to be known by many, and eventually causing her to disappear from the story?
One of the challenging themes in the story is learning to be obedient to the Holy Spirit even when no one seems to support the decision.  There are many examples of characters in the story pressured to choose differently than they desire because of race and laws at that time.  Add to the story’s dimension mob violence and a mob boss moving into the small area, bringing big-time crime and trouble to an area that had already suffered from local riots.
Though many other themes exist in the story, I will highlight two more.  The themes of sacrifice for the love of another and the willingness to ask for forgiveness when the flesh cries out for a different direction are carried throughout the book.  Marlene Banks is a new author for me.  I know she has another novel or two coming out, if, in fact, they aren’t already available to the public.  I recommend Greenwood & Archer for those who love a fictional telling of an actual event.
My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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