Monday, April 2, 2012

A reader's review from the Goodreads website

        This was a fairly easy, light and brisk read. It is a very enlightening book about an incident that to my knowledge, has not had a ton of exposure. I really enjoyed the background history and the author’s insights into how the crash helped to shape the future of this learning institution (Marshall University), as well as the football program.
       The book is a very worthwhile read for anyone who has an interest the history of this event, and how those who were left behind were affected.
       My only major criticisms were that at times the writing was a little choppy, due to the author weaving his personal perceptions, ideaologies and biases into the story. I think it would have been better if the author would have provided an informative history without his preconceived notions as opposed to writing a memoir type where his thoughts were the primary focus.
       My second point of contention is the race card. Fortunately I was blessed to have a mom who viewed all ethnicities without prejudice, and she passed that onto her children (Thank God!). I grew up having friends of different racial and ethnic backgrounds in our neighborhood and school. I continue to maintain that diversity in my adult years.
       I understand the harsh reality of racism in our nation’s history, as well as the residual effects it has on our society. Racism still lingers and it continues to manifest itself in our culture. I understand the need to inform readers of the racial disparity at the university, as well as the conflicts that arose due to those prejudices. Those conflicts were part of that reality and were factors in the story. I just felt that the author weaved too much of his own personal biases into the story:
      For example:  “In the tradition of the black church, homegoing is a time of jubilation.” (pg 57)
       Is that not true of other ethnicities? I got the impression from the author’s rendition that it mirrored my own church tradition with the blending of us mourning the loss of friends and loved ones coupled with the joy of knowing they are safely in the Heavenly Father’s hand.
       Another example is a racial reference made in describing one of the Marshall students.  
       (Annonymous ladies name) a black co-ed.... Did I really need to know that she was black or white?  Her role in the story was somewhat limited, and the racial factor neither enhanced or brought relevance to the story. Many key people were listed with their race attached to their name if they were black, while people of other ethnicities weren’t mentioned as frequently.
       I just get so tired of this. Perhaps if I was of another ethnicity, I might not share this thought. I just felt that it detracted from the story and further divides the races, when greater harmony is really what is needed.
       Oh well, I am done my little tangent, I just needed to vent.
       Again, November Ever After is a very illuminating read. It’s well worth your time to read it and get a better understanding of a neglected tragedy and its impact on those involved.

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Soone needs to know that there a number of accounts published on this tragic event that do not include the material he takes issue with. The omission of this side of the Marshall story has been overshadowed by the glow from the school's recent (1987-1998) success and the popular movie "We are Marshall" which took poetic license to color the story with Hollywood's wide brush. Mr. Greenlee does not have to apologize for his first hand account of an experience that was shared many of us at that time and the pain just below the surface even after 40 years. Just as the truths of black history in movies like '"Glory" or "Amistad" and others have only recently been brought to light, this account has come 'in due season' and is ripe for today. No bias here, just filling a vital part of the experience shared by many who spoke through Mr. Greenlee's research.