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New England White by Stephen L. Carter
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New England White

by Stephen L. Carter

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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
A Tedious read.

This book is an interesting story. The characters were well developed and the wife of the university president, Julia Carlye being portrayed as a sleuth to uncover a murder was a intriguing twists. Overall I thought the book was way too long. At least 100 pages could have been deleted, because about half way through I was about to toss it in the trash can. It was so boring. The story did perk up, but it never really held my interest and wouldn't say the book was a real page turner. It was an average but interesting mystery tale. I doubt I would recommend it to any of my friends. ( )
  CharlieWiles | Jan 14, 2011 |
I heard a review of this book on NPR right after it came out, and while I didn't remember what that review had said, I remembered being intrigued at the time, so when I saw it in the library, I picked it up.

New England White is only decent. The mystery is good, but also a little too convoluted, and the "puzzles” left for the main characters to figure out were either too complicated or required too intimate a knowledge of the characters for the reader to think though on their own. More than once the plot seemed to jump forward, with the characters rushing to conclusions in "Eureka!" moments that were built on shaky foundations at best.

Still, the mystery was an intriguing one, the characters were likeable (some more than others), the New England University setting was pleasant and well created, and Carter's presentation of modern middle and upper class Black Americans was interesting. The gradual uncovering of intersections between an old murder and the one at the heart of this story, along with my concern for some of the characters, kept me turning pages, although with more enthusiasm in the well-paced middle third of the book than in the slightly dragging beginning or the overly complicated end. ( )
  pursuitofsanity | Jun 9, 2009 |
First off, this is a very large book. I wasn't sure I'll be able to get through it but I did. This book is a murder mystery surrounding an African-American president of a university, his wife, her dead ex-lover and a crime that happened over 30 years ago and how they are connected to it. It was a difficult read at first. Many characters and situations to remember but once I understood what was going on within the story, I swept through it. I wanted to know how it was going to end. The ending was a bit of a letdown, however. It was not what I was expecting at all. I wanted something more. I know that the author is a law professor at an Ivy League school so the book was a bit wordy to say the least. I get it. The guy is smart, probably smarter than the rest of us. Maybe I should have started with his first book then I would have been prepared for his writing style. ( )
  r0ckcandy | Apr 9, 2009 |
Antoher of Carter's literate, erudite, elegant, but occasionally pompous novels of upper-crust African American life, nicely teamed with a Grisham-like suspense plot.
Julia becomes inadvertantly involved with the murder of a former lover and the long-ago death of a young girl. The book drags a bit for the first third, but then the plot complications pick up and if flies along.
A fine book somewhat spoiled by an ending that seems to be completely from left field. ( )
  bohemima | Jan 1, 2009 |
Beautifully written, believable characters; quite complex ( )
  elenaelida | Nov 23, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Why does everybody pick on the economists? They've correctly predicted thirteen of the past five recessions!

--Familiar campus joke
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For Annette Windom
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Rumors chase the dead like flies, and we follow them with our prim noses.
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translation of New England White by Stephen L. Carter
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375413626, Hardcover)

The eagerly awaited, electrifying new novel from the author of The Emperor of Ocean Park (“Among the most remarkable fiction debuts in recent years . . . A rip-roaring entertainment”—The Boston Globe).

When The Emperor of Ocean Park was published, Time Out declared: “Carter does for members of the contemporary black upper class what Henry James did for Washington Square society, taking us into their drawing rooms and laying their motives bare.” Now, with the same powers of observation, and the same richness of plot and character, Stephen L. Carter returns to the New England university town of Elm Harbor, where a murder begins to crack the veneer that has hidden the racial complications of the town’s past, the secrets of a prominent family, and the most hidden bastions of African-American political influence.

At the center: Lemaster Carlyle, the university president, and his wife, Julia Carlyle, a deputy dean at the divinity school—African Americans living in “the heart of whiteness.” Lemaster is an old friend of the president of the United States. Julia was the murdered man’s lover years ago. The meeting point of these connections forms the core of a mystery that deepens even as Julia closes in on the politically earth-shattering motive behind the murder.

Relentlessly suspenseful, galvanizing in its exploration of the profound difference between allegiance to ideas and to people, New England White is a resounding confirmation of Stephen Carter’s gifts as a writer of fiction.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:45 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"Stephen L. Carter returns to the New England university town of Elm Harbor, where a murder begins to crack the veneer that has hidden the racial complications of the town's past, the secrets of a prominent family, and the most hidden bastions of African-American political influence." "At the center: Lemaster Carlyle, the university president, and his wife, Julia Carlyle, a deputy dean at the divinity school - African Americans living in "the heart of whiteness." Lemaster is an old friend of the president of the United States. Julia was the murdered man's lover years ago. The meeting point of these connections forms the core of a mystery that deepens even as Julia closes in on the politically earth-shattering motive behind the murder."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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