Book Review: Wingshooters
My book club is currently reading Wingshooters by Nina Revoyr. I have to say, it’s one of most engaging books I’ve read in a while. The story revolves around a little girl named Michelle, whose Caucasian father is from rural Wisconsin, and whose mother is a foreign exchange student from Japan. Her parents marry after meeting each other in college, despite the opposition from her father’s family.
After Michelle’s mother leaves them, her father goes out to find her and leaves Michelle in Wisconsin to live with his parents. As the only person of color in the very small community, Michelle is taunted, teased, pushed around, and pelted with rocks by the other children on a regular basis.
Despite the abandonment by her parents and the bullying by her classmates, Michelle finds joy in her life in Wisconsin. She is adored by her grandfather, who enjoys taking her out to play ball, hunt, and fish. Her grandparents’ dog is her faithful companion.
One day, the townspeople are completely stunned when a black professional couple moves into town. The husband is a substitute teacher at the local grade school, and the wife is a nurse treating patients at the local clinic. All of a sudden, no one seems to be concerned about Michelle anymore. All of the town’s attention is focused on this new couple. There is resistance to change, to put it mildly.
As the story unfolds, Michelle watches with interest. And to her horror, it doesn’t end well.
What I enjoyed most about this book was the writing style. The details were so on target when describing the experience of a child growing up in a world filled with racial tension and bigotry. This is a book you don’t want to miss.