Following her award-winning debut, A Kind of Freedom, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton’s The Revisioners is a passionate exploration of liberty, heritage, sisterhood and motherhood in New Orleans.
In the 1920s, Josephine takes over her husband’s land after his death. The farm is flourishing, but when a suspicious white family moves in nearby, Josephine discovers too late their affiliation to the Ku Klux Klan. In 2017, Ava, a biracial single mother descended from Josephine, has just been laid off. She takes up her white grandmother’s offer to move in together, a proposal that seems attractive at first, until her grandmother begins to have violent outbursts.
Sexton’s characters’ realistic interior thoughts drive the novel, revealing hidden emotions of apprehension and nostalgia. Ava and Josephine display an unusual ability to discern people’s motives; Ava has a unique perception of her mother, and Josephine understands her son’s struggle to break out from his father’s shadow. Though they experience the world at different times and through different circumstances, their worlds intersect through a shared purpose: to offer support, comfort and healing.
Despite everything, Ava and Josephine hold on to hope, refusing to be bound by the constraints of their eras. The Revisioners is an uplifting novel of black women and their tenacity.