Out of Darkness
by Ashley Hope Pérez (Goodreads Author)
In 1937 East Texas a young mexican girl brings her younger half-white twin siblings to live their estranged, white oil worker father in a small town after their mother dies.
The town is starkly segregated, but very few Mexicans so neither side welcomes Naomi with her darker-than-white skin but not Negro enough for Egypt Town. But there’s one boy, Wash, who fishes with the twins, talks to her about homework, and shares her dreams of escaping the town.
Only problem is, not only is Naomi’s stepfather seeing too much of her dead mother in her in nasty ways, but he won’t cotton to a negro being around his children.
Naomi and Wash get very close to making their escape when a terrible tragedy shakes the town, riling up emotions of white men eager to find a scapegoat. The very worst thing happens.
Told in alternating POV including Naomi, the sensitive boy of the twins, Beto, and “the gang” which ends up being the white town POV /omniscient feelings, this book leads you down fairly well-trod paths in the USA’s racist history, while shedding a little light on the uncomfortable position of Mexican Americans during that time. Perez has created magical, memorable characters in Wash, Naomi, and the twins. But prepared with your tissue box. There is a lot of ugliness.