Robert Jeff Norrell
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In Eden Rise Tom McKee, a white college freshman, returns to his home in the Alabama Black Belt in the summer of 1965 and becomes embroiled in a civil-rights conflict that divides his family, his town, and his own identity. His wealthy and powerful family is not prepared for the shocks that have followed the racial quake of the Selma March a few months earlier. Tom’s black college friend accompanies him home and gets caught in racial violence. Coming to his friend’s defense, Tom earns the enmity of segregationist neighbors. He feels both the hot anger of his father for his racial nonconformity and the determined defense of his mother and grandmother, as he witnesses the corrosive effects of the turmoil on his parents’ marriage. Attempting to rescue him are a cousin he never knew and a wily old lawyer who meet dangers and legal challenges that force Tom to confront the truth of his legacy.