Cover image for Meeting of the waters
Meeting of the waters
McLarin, Kim.
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2002.

Physical Description:
568 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.
Format :


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Material Type
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Central Library X Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print

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Reviews 3

Booklist Review

McLarin's second novel takes place during the racially explosive Rodney King beating in Los Angeles and the subsequent acquittal of four white policemen. When Lenora Page, a black reporter, rescues Porter Stockman, a white reporter, from a physical confrontation on the streets of L.A., Porter immediately is smitten and struggles to convince Lenora of his honorable intentions. Lenora, on the other hand, is reluctant and suspicious of his motivation. Yet, over the course of a year, with patience and determination, they learn to trust and love. As Lenora becomes more self-assured, Porter deals with uncertainties about his own feelings about race. To remain a couple they must rethink their allegiances, loyalties, and prejudices and realize that the only thing they can trust is love. McLarin, with thought-provoking dialogue and believable characters, handles the subject of interracial love superbly. --Lillian Lewis

Publisher's Weekly Review

The issues of biracial marriage and racial bigotry are explored with potent insight and literary skill in McLarin's second novel (after Taming It Down). During the explosive aftermath of Rodney King's police assailants' trial in L.A., veteran reporter Porter Stockman was attacked and almost beaten to death by rioters. Now back home in Philadelphia, Porter is elated to reencounter Lenora "Lee" Page, a black woman who saved his life. Coincidentally, Lee, also a seasoned journalist, has just accepted a job on the Record, Porter's paper. Though they are both well aware of the cultural prejudices against biracial relationships, Porter passionately woos Lee while she struggles with a lifelong determination to fraternize solely with members of her own race. Eventually, she overcomes her misgivings, and joyously (but at Lee's insistence, secretly) they become lovers. When Lee's best friend pays her a surprise visit and meets Porter, however, Lee must try to justify her shift. And Porter, made uneasy by Lee's preoccupation with race, questions his own vaunted belief in equality. McLarin pulls no punches in her candid portrayal of the conflicts that often occur when conscientious adults examine assumptions each race makes about the other, and when they acknowledge, even against their will, the existence of solid barriers separating racial groups. Strong characterization lifts the narrative far above stereotype. Porter and Lee are a pair of personable and tortured lovers who reflect their unique pasts in psychologically nuanced portrayals. Their story may be a cautionary tale for those who would pit individuality against group identity. Primarily, though, this is a gripping novel about love and the obstacles it encounters even in so-called enlightened society. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Porter Stockman, a white journalist, finds his life in jeopardy when he gets caught in a race riot following the acquittal of the four Los Angeles policemen who assaulted black motorist Rodney King in 1992. In the commotion appears Lenora Page, a black reporter, who rescues him and then disappears. Later, upon returning home to the Philadelphia Record, Porter is surprised and delighted to find his savior has taken a position at his paper. He wonders why she risked her own life to save a white guy stupid enough to get caught up in a race riot. And what is she doing at the Record? A turbulent relationship begins in which Lenora suspects Porter's attraction to her is driven by ulterior motives having to do with race, and he, in turn, is constantly on the defensive, guarding his resentment against her pessimism. McLarin (Taming It Down), a former reporter, illuminates the roadblocks that society and endemic distrust place in the path of biracial couples. At the same time, she treats readers to a surprisingly complex love story laced with the kind of breezy humor we expect from writers like Bebe Moore Campbell and Terry McMillan. Recommended for all public libraries. Jennifer Baker, Seattle P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Chapter One The first time he saw, in Philadelphia, the woman who had saved his life, Porter thought he might be hallucinating. What was it called -- post-traumatic stress disorder? He knew the name of the condition because he had once written a story about it. Post-traumatic stress disorder, foxhole frenzy, battle fatigue, the clean-sounding phrase for freaking out after some hideous, life-shattering event. The story he'd written was about how the disorder manifested not just in war but in the everyday world. He built the story around a North Philadelphia kid whose four brothers and two uncles had been cut down, one by one, on the same block by the same combination of gangs and drugs over the course of two years. The kid, who was nine years old when his last remaining brother poured his blood into the street, spent nights pacing the living room of his house and went to school each morning dressed in his one good suit to save his mother the trouble of bringing it to the funeral home when he was killed. A psychologist at Temple told Porter he suspected there were more cases of PTSD walking the streets of urban America than had ever raised rifle against the Vietcong. "Philadelphia is choked with people waging their Own private wars," the psychologist said. Porter had looked for the woman in Los Angeles, had left his name and telephone number at the hospital where he was treated, and he checked at several more in case she herself had been hurt. But trying to track her that way, without a name, was ludicrous. A big, fat waste of time: "Uh, you don't have a beautiful black woman, midthirties, with big brown eyes, wearing some kind of greenish jacket in your hospital, do you?" He'd even gone back to South Central the day the curfew was lifted, back to the very same block where all hell had broken loose. That was difficult, and he was only able to do it because the area swarmed with news vans and reporters with cameras and cops. Still he stayed in his car and drove slowly through the streets, scanning the faces of black women, avoiding glaring into the eyes of black men. He was afraid of seeing again the men who had beaten him -- not just because of what they would do but because of what he, in his humiliation and fear, might. After an hour or so he gave up. And then, bang! Three weeks later, there she was! In Philadelphia! At least, he thought it was her. He was outside the Record building at the time, having just returned from an interview ten blocks away through the suffocating late June heat. All Porter wanted was to get inside to air-conditioning and a cold soda from the fourth-floor machine, but he was waylaid by Karl Dullard, the transportation reporter. Karl had stationed himself on the sidewalk in a sliver of shade to smoke and moan about being passed over by the Publisher's Award committee. This was not the first time such a grievous oversight had happened. And, since Porter sat next to Karl in the newsroom, this was not his first time hearing about it. "You read my piece on federal transportation funds!" Karl whined through a puff of smoke. His wife would not allow a cigarette within a mile radius of their home, so Karl compensated by inhaling two packs a day between the hours of ten and six. He held his cigarette like a woman, between the first two fingers instead of pinching it between thumb and index finger. Porter, who hadn't smoked since college, always had the urge to snatch Karl's cigarette and show him how it was done. "It was masterly," Karl whined. "That's what the undersecretary called it -- masterly! I deserved that award." The award in question was one hundred bucks and one's name tacked to a bulletin board near the elevator for a month. Porter was about to tell Karl he'd gladly give him the money and scrawl his name on the wall with a felt-tipped pen if he would just shut up, then she drove past. A black woman in a white car, a profile, a fragment of memory behind glass. "Did you read that crap that won?" Karl was saying. "Hey! Porter! You listening to me?" "No," Porter said. His eyes followed the receding car. Should he run after it? Maybe he could catch her at a light. But that was ridiculous. It couldn't have been her. There were three thousand miles of country between this place and that corner in L.A. Karl looked over his shoulder. "What are you staring at?" "I thought I saw someone," Porter said. "A woman." "Ooh!" Karl turned around now. If there was one thing he enjoyed more than moaning about how underappreciated he was it was leering at women. "Which one? Oh, I see, that blonde in the miniskirt. Yowee! What I wouldn't give to be unchained like you, Porter boy. Yikes!" "Shut up, Karl." He went inside and had his soda and wrote the incident off as his imagination working overtime. It wasn't her, just someone who looked like her. That's what he told himself. But the next morning it happened again. It was early this time. The sidewalks around the Record building still glistened from the daily dawn washing and the heat had yet to rise. Porter had stopped by the office to pick up his tape recorder; he was headed to Bucks County for the day to report a story about the tenth anniversary of the unsolved murder of a Bryn Mawr student-turned-working girl. Just as he stepped from the building a white car rolled past, reached the corner, turned from sight. Without thinking, he ran after it, but he tripped over the curb and fell and scraped his hand... (Continues...) Excerpted from Meeting of the Waters by Kim McLarin. Copyright © 2001 by Kim McLarin. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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