This month’s pick– Zora and Nicky by Claudia Mair Burney–examines the racial divide in U.S. Christian culture through the eyes of two modern day Christians who fall in love.
It’s been said the the most racially divided hours in the US are between 9 and 12 on Sunday mornings when Christians go to church within their own cultural groups. Zora and Nicky uses a powerful romance story with true to life characters to examine the issue of the racial divide among U.S. Christians. Nicky, the son of a prominent Baptist pastor, is sick of his father’s hypocritical preaching and racially insensitive lifestyle. Zora, the daughter of a prominent African American bishop, is sick of her father’s “prosperity gospel” messages. They meet at a Bible study group that welcomes all believers–even ex-prostitutes and recovering alcoholics–and thus begins a volatile yet passionate relationship. When they meet both Nicky and Zora are dating the ideal person according to their families, but they quickly come to the realization that ideologically they are much better suited to each other. When their families find out that they are involved with each other their reaction is worse than either Zora and Nicky expected. Zora finds herself cut off from her Father’s money and love. Nicky is threatened and even physically abused by his father and racist grandfather. Yet Zora and Nicky know in their hearts that racial prejudice is wrong and that there should be a place in the Christian community for couples like them. Their struggle to find that sort of community makes for a powerful story with an unforgettable cast of characters who help Zora and Nicky find their way. This powerful exposure of the racial divide that exists among Christians will challenge the reader to examine the way they relate to people of different races. If you enjoy thought-provoking Christian fiction with sympathetic characters I highly recommend this novel.