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Five Smooth Stones by Ann Fairbairn
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Five Smooth Stones (1966)

by Ann Fairbairn

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3421349,950 (4.38)13
Returning to the South to fight for the civil rights movement, a young black lawyer finds his life complicated by a beautiful white artist.
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This is an important book about race relations between the early 1930's to the late 60's. It follows through birth a young man who is the David of David and Goliath and his education, training, and efforts toward improving his peoples' lot. There were some surprising takeaways from the book, for example, David was suspicious of any whites who were kind. The reader also is grieved by the subtle and not-so-subtle treatment of blacks. We see where they were as a people and how far they've come and how far they need to go to achieve true equality and "justice for all." We had a long discussion at book club (March '17)on many of the points of this book. We rated it a 4.1 because it was way too detailed and even tedious at times. Wish the author had gone straight to the meat of the book. ( )
  bereanna | Mar 23, 2017 |
Amazon Description: First published in 1966, Five Smooth Stones is a wide-ranging yet intimate portrait of an America sundered by racial conflict. David Champlin is a black man born into poverty in Depression-era New Orleans who makes his way up the ladder of success, only to sacrifice everything to lead his people in the civil rights movement. Sara Kent is the white girl who loves David from the moment she first sees him, and who struggles against his belief that a marriage for them would be wrong in the violent world he has to confront. And the “five smooth stones” are those the biblical David carried against Goliath. By the time this novel comes to its climax of horror, bloodshed, and hope, readers will be convinced that its enduring popularity is fully justified.

This is my favorite book of all time. The characters became a part of my family and I rejoiced and wept with them. I just discovered this book is out of print. I think that's tragic. The heart of the story is the love story, but there are so many other deep relationships in this book, and so much history of the south during the civil rights era. Even though this weighs in at almost 800 pages, I was crushed when I reached the end and had to leave these characters behind. I assume libraries still have it (mine does) and most heartedly recommend it. I would love to discuss this with someone else who finds this and falls in love. ( )
1 vote LeslieHurd | Jan 11, 2017 |
Read this book back in high school and have never forgotten it. Wonderful characters. Great story. More than just a romance. ( )
  Denise.Jenne | Sep 29, 2015 |
Too long, would prefer someone make a movie or PBS get this screen written into a series....Feelings of a negative kind were truly generated, reliving the dark south side of American history.. ( )
  pre20cenbooks | Apr 16, 2013 |
An epic history of white supremacy, racism, cruelty, love, hatred, individual success, and the fight for dignity and freedom of black Americans beginning in the ‘30s during the great depression and ending during the civil rights movement of the late ‘60s. David Champlin, is raised by his grandparents L’il Joe and Geneva, after his own father is murdered by a white mob. David becomes a successful lawyer, Harvard and Oxford graduate, but is still not accepted as an equal in his America. This is compounded by his love for Sarah, a white artist. A truly moving and unforgettable story of the hardships of being black in the USA. ( )
  CarterPJ | Aug 14, 2012 |
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Epigraph
And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go . . . And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him, And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine. I Samuel 17:38-40
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For my father
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There was a ten-dollar hill in Joseph Champlin's pocket on an evening in early March in 1933.
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Five Smooth Stones is the story of one man's search for dignity and love. It moves swiftly from a New Orleans ghetto, where a black child reaches out for a better life, to the scenes of intense beauty and bitterness that mark his journey to manhood. Five Smooth Stones is the story of one man's initiation into love, passionate love -- rare and tender, consuming and tragic -- a forbidden love. Five Smooth Stones is the story of one man who gives up everything -- hard-won personal victories, a lofty diplomatic position, comfort, security and respectability -- to battle against an overwhelming enemy. Five Smooth Stones is the unforgettable story of David Champlin. It is as contemporary as today's news flashes, yet as timeless is the biblical account of David from which the title is derived. It is a story which will remain alive long after its final page is read.
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