I recently saw an ad for a book on Goodreads.com that piqued my interest and the result was the purchase of Inside Out by Grayson Cole. The theme of Inside Out seems to be an inside look at interracial dating in the South . . . not a lighthearted topic by any means. Biracialism, multiculturalism and interracial dating may seem to be in vogue but for people in the center there are often stigmas still attached.
Tracey McAlpine is a graduate student in Alabama and a daughter of privilege. She is fortunate enough to be residing in her own home, inherited from a grandmother, and has a trust account. Tracey is also afraid to shake things up. She does what is expected and seeks to remain in the background. Garrett Atkins is the fair-haired boy (young man) in his family. He excelled at sports, is well liked and respected by his friends and peers, and is now in law school at the top of his class. Garrett is attracted to Tracey and their relationship takes off with an extremely rocky start. Garrett has his reasons for keeping his "friendship" with Tracey secret just as Tracey has her own. But when their relationship veers from "friendship" to "relationship,” Garrett is ready to bring it out into the open. Tracey is not. Garrett is ready to push when Tracey informs him that she's pregnant. What follows is somewhat akin to a mini-Shakespearean drama. Garrett's mother refuses to accept that she is going to have a biracial grandchild and ignores the situation, after having a meltdown. Tracey's parents are also extremely concerned when they learn that the father is white.
Garrett and Tracey may be living in the New South but there are still problems to be faced as a biracial couple. I found Inside Out to realistically portray the inner turmoil faced by Garrett and Tracey and their decisions. Neither are villains nor heroes in this saga, but they both bring drama and issues into their relationship that require work for a successful relationship to be had. The reality is that no relationship lives in a vacuum. Our families and friends impact our decisions. The realism of the situations and the depth of the characters made for a truly enjoyable and memorable read. I'm really glad that I noticed the ad for this book and even happier that I bought it.