One of the most gifted novelists at work today, Madison Smartt Bell turns his sharp eye to our own moment, and to the racial lines that have divided contemporary America. His landscape is inner-city Baltimore, where poverty, violence, and despair have imprisoned the city's youth. Into this world steps Mike Devlin, a child psychiatrist whose successful practice has kept him comfortably, if frustratingly, detached from life's harsher lessons. Devlin is a man who wants to do something, make a difference in the world. But when he opens a Tae Kwan Do school near a Baltimore housing project, the brutality of the streets, a series of violent deaths, and deadly misunderstandings shock him into seeing how limited his influence has been.In a complex, fast-paced narrative, several richly nuanced voices weave a powerful, deeply affecting story of possibility — hopeful and dangerous — between people whose connection is often defined only by its impossibility.
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