The Emancipation of Evan Walls

Fiction - Literary
312 Pages
Reviewed on 03/02/2019
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

Jeffrey is the award-winning author of two novels — Almost Snow White, winner of the 2013 USA Best Book Awards, and Hating Heidi Foster, winner of the 2013 Readers Favorite Book Award for young adult literature.

He is also an Emmy award-winning television director and a 2016 inductee to the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. During a 34-year career at NBC News, Jeffrey directed a decade of Meet The Press, The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, The Chris Matthews Show and major special events.

Jeffrey is an accomplished public speaker, commenting on issues of race, social justice and writing. He was a contributor for HuffPost and has been published in The Washington Post, The and other publications. He is also an award-winning documentary script writer.

Born and raised in Smithfield, Virginia, he now lives in Washington, DC.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

Every so often a book comes along that you believe everyone should read. For me, The Emancipation of Evan Walls by Jeffrey Blount is that book, a story in which not only the protagonist, Evan Walls, is liberated from the demons of his youth, but through which receptive readers will be freed of uninformed notions about what it was like to grow up black in America before and after emancipation. This incredible story might shock you, or at the very least will move you to tears. Either way, you won’t forget it any time soon, if ever.

As a wide-eyed, curious and intelligent youngster, Evan loves the weekly gathering of friends and family for Kool-Aid, chatter and gossip on his parents’ verandah. At one such gathering, he tunes into Bojack’s grumblings on the status of the black people of Canaan who seem content with and intent upon staying where years of white suppression have put them ie. not seeking to better themselves, to get an education, and one day become somebody who matters. Evan takes Bojack’s views to heart and from that point on is determined to make something of himself. He learns to read; he slowly replaces his “black” way of speaking with proper English. He is mentored for years by both Bojack and his beloved great-grandmother Jennie, but along the way he is rejected, not just by his peers who see him as an Uncle Tom and as turning his back on his race, but by his own status-conscious mother and father. After schools become integrated, the friendless, unloved and abused Evan finds friendship in some white classmates. Unfortunately, that fuels even more anger from his family, and triggers complete isolation and violence from his black brothers. Despite a broken heart and incredible loneliness, Evan weathers it all to become a star athlete. But even that cannot salvage the damage his determination to become a somebody has caused in his personal life. He has broken the unspoken rule of accepting the status quo, of fitting in with everyone, and now he must pay the price.

The Emancipation of Evan Walls is a gut-wrenching read, delivered by a brilliant, award-winning author and television director, Jeffrey Blount. He is a master of telling a story, revealing characters and their motivations primarily through dialogue. This style of writing not only makes his characters utterly realistic and emotionally engaging, but also moves the story along quickly. This is one of those books that keep you turning pages, not because of non-stop action or unexpected twists and turns, but because of the stark reality and truths explored through the characters and setting. The Emancipation of Evan Walls is utterly riveting reading and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Brilliant!