Caucasia by Danzy Senna

A private language spoken between two sisters binds their hearts forever, creating a world only they can enter and explore. Birdie adores her older sister, wants to be like her in every way. There is one thing stopping her—her color. She is lighter in color than her sister, Chloe, who looks like her father: tall in stature and a mid-shade of black; he’s an intellectual focused on little else than writing his book on the meaning of race in America.  Birdie Lee’s color leans towards the middle but more on her mother’s side: a white woman with fair skin and blonde hair who tended to be a bit heavy, back when the family was together.

It was Boston, the turbulent 70’s, and all that was together was now in pieces. Her mother was involved in some dangerous business and had the feds after her.  They had to run.  The only thing to do was to split up the family: Chloe and her father off to Brazil; Birdie and her mother, to New Hampshire.  A divide leading Birdie into a white world—ever lost; yet, the memory of her secret language drives her to find her sister, to find herself.

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