Violet of a Deeper Blue: A Novel
Format: Paperback, 1st ed., 314pp.
Publisher: Azure Publishing
Pub. Date: January 1999
Review by Thumper, AALBC.com
Violet Of A Deeper Blue is the story of Brandon Northcross, a young black MBA graduate from Dartmouth who previously lived in New Hampshire. Brandon had recently moved to Washington DC to work for one of the top computer companies in the country. Although Brandon is black, he had been raised to not look on race and racism as an excuse not to succeed. He has to work harder, put in twice the amount of hours just to convince whites that he is just as good as them. That he, Brandon, is not like those other blacks that use racism as the barrier that is holding them back. Violet Of A Deeper Blue revolves around Brandon and how he handles racism, and what it does to his life.
God don't like ugly, and I can't stand stupid. Brandon does some awfully stupid things, in my opinion. That's the point of the book. Malone does a good job in showing how Brandon lacks the tools in dealing with racism on a full blown, day-to-day basis. When Brandon encounters the slight of co-workers, or the reaction to his interracial relationship, I would think, "well I know he's going to do this or that." Only Brandon can't do this and that because he doesn't know how. Frustrating. Thoughts of The Good Black and Invisible Man stayed in my head while I was reading Violet Of A Deeper Blue. If there was a way I could reach into the novel and smack the hell out of Brandon, shouting "SNAP OUT IT!!", I would. Malone succeeds in illustrating the everyday racism that we have to contend with on so many levels. It's no wonder we have a higher percentage of hypertension than any other group of people.
Malone has a good ear for speech. Wonderful eye for detail. I would have liked for that eye to focus more on Brandon's past, especially with his relationships with his alcoholic mother and his father. Did Brandon have any friends, black friends especially, in high school or college? I was often left with the feeling that I didn't know who Brandon was, so I didn't develop any compassion or understanding for him.
Violet Of A Deeper Blue is a nice book with a couple of twists and turns. It shows the face of racism that some of us see every day, and it's not pretty. The book will evoke emotions and thoughts on racism.