Genesis Begins Agains: 08/03/19
Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams is YA contemporary fiction about a black girl struggling to love herself as her family struggles to stay together. The family has been put out four times. House number five seems too good to be true, in a well to do suburb of Detroit with a well funded school for Genesis to attend.
At school Genesis is finding it odd to be so easily accepted. She's used to be called by slurs. She's used to be bullied. Here the school seems to have bullying under control, allowing Genesis to focus on her education.
At home, her dad's promises of a new life and stories of having a new, well paying job, seem to be just that — stories. They're still struggling to pay their rent and he's back to gambling and drinking.
Family trouble, worries about staying in a school and a house she genuinely likes, and an iffy relationship with her grandmother, contributes to Genesis's feelings of self loathing. She begins to believe that happiness will only come with lighter skin and she goes to painful, and sometimes self destructive methods.
While there's isn't a tightly wrapped up happy ending regarding the house and the school, the novel does take Genesis and her parents through the process of reconciliation.
Genesis's story while set in the modern day brought to mind stories my grandmother told of her childhood. Before her parents gave up and moved into a relative's house, they fled many a home where they couldn't afford the rent before being officially put out.
In terms of the road narrative spectrum, Genesis Begins Again sits with many other similar stories of families trying to find their home along the Blue Highway (336633). While Genesis is the POV character, the making a home out of the house in Farmington is a family (33) effort — one that is hindered by the dad's frustration, alcoholism, and depression. Whether or not the house they are living in throughout the novel is their ultimate home, the book closes with the family closer to achieving a home (66). While the route taken to Farmington isn't specifically mentioned, a quick look on Google Maps shows the route is along Route 5, a Blue Highway (33).