disclosure: we were sent the book mention for the purpose of review
I recently received a copy of On the Rooftop by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton which was published through Oneworld on 6th October. Having been chosen as the September pick by Reese’s Book Club I was eager to discover more.
On the Rooftop is set in the Fillmore district of San Francisco in the 1950s and is very much a family drama telling the story of one mother’s dream for her three talented daughters and their rather different ambitions.
Vivian is a force to be reckoned with having moved from Louisiana with two young children, only to be widowed with another baby on the way. She has fought prejudice and racism all her life and wants so much more for her family. She is fiercely proud of Ruth, Esther and Chloe having coached and managed them from a young age and she wants the jazz singing trio to be the very best they can be. Known as The Salvations the girls are now young women and we watch on as they start to question what they really want and whether their dreams match that of their mother. Never more so than when they receive the offer of a lifetime from a talent manager who wants to launch them to national success. Each sister has a different idea of where they want life to take them.
As the life of the family is changing so is the neighbourhood they live in, there are racial tensions and a clear intent that the black community are trying to be forced from their homes and businesses.
On the Rooftop is a slower burner, if you’re looking for dramatic plot twists then it probably isn’t the novel for you. It definitely took me a little while to get into this book but it’s worth sticking with it.