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Everyman  By  cover art

Everyman

By: M Shelly Conner
Narrated by: Janina Edwards
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Publisher's Summary

Eve Mann arrives in Ideal, Georgia, in 1972 looking for answers about the mother who died giving her life. A mother named Mercy. A mother who for all of Eve’s 22 years has been a mystery and a quest. Eve’s search for her mother, and the father she never knew, is a mission to discover her identity, her name, her people, and her home.

Eve’s questions and longing launch a multigenerational story that sprawls back to the turn of the 20th century, settles into the soil of the South, the blood and souls of Black folk making love and life and fleeing in a Great Migration into the savage embrace of the North.

Eve is a young woman coming of age in Chicago against the backdrop of the twin fires and fury of the civil rights and Black Power movements - a time when everything and everyone, it seems, longs to be made anew.

At the core of this story are the various meanings of love - how we love and, most of all, whom we love. everyman is peopled by rebellious Black women straining against the yoke of convention and designated identities, explorers announcing their determination to be and to be free. There is Nelle, Eve’s best friend and heart, who claims her right both to love women and to always love Eve as a sister and friend.

Brother Lee Roy, professor and mentor, gives Eve the tools for her genealogical search while turning away from his own bitter harvest of family secrets. Mama Ann, the aunt who has raised Eve and knows everything about Mercy, offers Eve a silence that she defines as protection and care. But it is James and Geneva, two strangers whom Eve meets in Ideal, who plumb the depths of their own hurt and reconciliations to finally give Eve the gift of her past, a reimagined present, and finally, her name.

©2021 M Shelly Conner (P)2021 Blackstone Publishing

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What listeners say about Everyman

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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It just wandered. I gave up!

This started out with an interesting premise — searching for information about one’s family and roots. I just don’t understand where it was going after that. After two hours of meandering, I just quit. The storyline was totally AWOL.

2 people found this helpful

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Beautifully written and preformed

An eye opening perspective. Following Eve through her quest to find her family’s story revealed a point of view of the reality I have been told of but could never truly understand.
I know the history, but the author placed me right in the middle of an experience.

2 people found this helpful

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beautiful

Loved it! Heartbreaking and poetically written with a satisfying ending. Would emphatically recommend this listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Sweeping, touching, documentary-like search

A young Black woman, raised by her secretive aunt in Chicago, searches for her roots in early '70s small-town Georgia. We all think our experiences are new , unique, and foreign to our ancestors, but this story beautifully suggests how wrong that conceit is. Lots of important Black history not included in history class (at least not when I was in high school) about the Great Migration, Booker T. Washington, etc., down to the first Black TV soap opera actor. The author has a lovely way with language; many descriptions of the ordinary are poetic. The mysterious open secrets of sexuality, crime, life in general in probably any small town in the U.S. in the 1950s (and earlier and later) provide so many characters that it might have been easier to keep track if I had read it, but the compelling narrator is well more than worth any brief confusion. Highly recommend. Will listen again.

1 person found this helpful

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Really made me think

Unravels the mysteries about the parents and grandparents Eve never knew, showcasing juke joints, numbers runners, northern ghettos, and civil rights marches. The author put me in the heads of characters as they discovered some friends & family are LGBTQ, or that people they thought were good or bad did quite the reverse. Made me appreciate different perspectives. I loved Janina Edwards’ southern dialects! Author’s style is reminiscent of Toni Morrison & Alice Walker.

1 person found this helpful

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Great book

Being from Chicago and now living in Georgia, I find a lot I can relate to.

1 person found this helpful

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Riveting

This book with its historical twist and turns will take you a journey that will keep you enthralled to the very end. The narrator does a wonderful job of telling the story.

1 person found this helpful

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Could have been 2 books.

The story could have been 2 books. It segued to Nell too quickly and too long.

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Excellent

I enjoyed this reading but think I would have gotten more out of it if I had held the book in my hand and read it myself. Don’t get me wrong the story and the reading of it was greatly appreciated. It was my attention span that made it difficult to put the pieces of the story together until the end. Then I wanted to read it again🙃

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A Deep Dive

I wasn't sure about this book initially due to some of the reviews. However, when I began to listen and learn how each character was intricately broken down and woven together into a beautiful tapestry or life, knowledge, ignorance, education, intelligence, family, history, peace, light, darkness, identity,religion, security, and love...I became so much more interested and took a deep dive into the legacy of this book. Please listen/read. I know this book will win awards and be discussed as a staple read in the black community. Great Work my sister!