Confessions in B Flat by Donna Hill | Book Review

Donna Hill’s Confessions in B Flat is a romance novel set in 1963 during the civil rights movement where one main characters is working to promote the nonviolent protest led by Dr Martin Luther King Jr and the other is an outspoken activist and follower of Malcolm X. Yet, despite their different views, Anita and Jason’s political involvements show the beauty of uniting with something bigger than yourself and the novel highlights just that.

Reasons to love Confessions in B Flat

  1. Both main characters are African Americans from stable, middle class families and although that looks different in New York and Georgia, the two backgrounds are represented in a really authentic way –Jason’s Atlanta home, complete with descriptions of segregation that challenged but didn’t break his family, and the southern comfort evident in descriptions of their neighbors; the fast paced life in New York City that bred a bold woman like Anita and the diverse expressions of culture on offer in every scene.
  2. The accidental meeting that brings these two different personalities together and the eventual reconnection of the main characters on the streets of Harlem, though unlikely in the metropolitan setting,  felt completely believable because of the centers the two people work in.  
  3. The fact that although both characters are trying to find their place in the city, that neither character is destitute, or disadvantaged. It is something to really applaud that a book set in an urban environment and that highlights the characteristics of the city, is still focused on and mental upliftment.
  4. The overlay of historical references help center the story and the inclusion of photographs make a great accompaniment for the timeline being lived by these fictional characters, making the novel feel more like a really well told narrative nonfiction. For fans of mixed media presentations, this novel also does something unique in that it includes links to videos that the reader can open up for further context.
  5. The story flows well, moving between flashbacks and real time, showing the growth of the characters alongside the development of the civil rights movement.

Book Details

  • Title: Confessions in B Flat
  • Author: Donna Hill
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 330
  • Publisher: Sideways Books 
  • Publication Date: November 24, 2020

From The Publisher

Essence bestselling author Donna Hill brings us an emotional love story set against the powerful backdrop of the civil rights movement that gripped a nation―a story as timely as it is timeless…

The year is 1963. In Harlem, the epicenter of Black culture, the fight for equality has never been stronger. The time is now. Enough is enough. Yet even within its ranks, a different kind of battle rages. Love thy neighbor? Or rise up against your oppressors? 

Jason Tanner has just arrived in New York to help spread the message of his mentor, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., of passive resistance, while beat poet Anita Hopkins believes the teachings of Malcolm X with all her heart: that the way to true freedom is “by any means necessary.” When Jason sees Anita perform her poetry at the iconic B-Flat lounge, he’s transfixed. And Anita has never met anyone who can match her wit for wit like this…

One movement, two warring ideologies―can love be enough to unite them?

Confessions in B-Flat is a celebration of the hard-won victories of those who came before us, and a stark reminder of just how far we still have to go. 

Note: I received a complimentary copy of Confessions in B-Flat from Sideways Books and TLC Book Tours in order to complete this review. I was not otherwise compensated and the above reflects my genuine enthusiasm for the book. 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sara Strand says:

    Oh I have a few friends who would adore this! Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours


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