Noemie’s Journey


Set in 1968 in North Carolina, this tumultuous love story takes place in an equally tumultuous period of history. Racial tension is at its peak. Noemie Bellerose struggles to survive in this divide. She is Creole, and both she and her younger brother suffer discrimination. Noemie does her best to protect her brother from their abusive, alcoholic father, all the while secretly keeping her father’s business afloat—without the white community discovering it is she who is handling the business.

Richard Winters is a Yankee—a New Yorker who’s had enough of city life. He climbs on his motorcycle and zooms into town in search of a new life. Tending bar and trying to get back into the automotive repair business, he has no intentions to look for love—until Noemie drifts across his radar. The attraction between them is instant and undeniable. Richard doesn’t see Noemie’s race as an issue in any way. The residents of a small southern town, however, do not approve of interracial relationships.

In this book, the author tackles sensitive, difficult issues with boldness. Her writing style is eloquently descriptive, almost lyrical: Richard “ambled along the time tunnel,” his perception of his elderly landlady’s hallway lined with black-and-white photos. At other times, however, the prose tends toward cliché: “…the fairy tale had come alive, godmother and all.” The villainous character of Serena seems exaggerated and stereotypical as well. As a heroine, Noemie is weak—an almost willing victim of her plight. The character of Richard, however, is much better developed, a gallant and believable hero. Delicately handled controversial subject matter and accurate historical detail make Noemie’s Journey an enlightening and inspiring read.

FS Brown