A review of The Through by A. Rafael Johnson

Reviewed by Lorraine Currelley

The Through
by A. Rafael Johnson
Jaded Ibis Press, LLC
Paperback: 274 pages, October 1, 2017, ISBN-13: 978-1937543365

A. Rafael Johnson has written a wonderful novel. The Through is a finely carved sculpture of magical lyricism. His characters are living and breathing people and places. We forget they are lives on the written page and find ourselves relating to them as people we know and places we have read about, lived and visited. Their histories and herstories are told with such lyrically exquisite language, depth and nuance.

I know these people and places. I have breathed them in and hungrily and passionately embraced the words coloring their lives. They are ancestors, spirits and ghosts. They are familiar lived with voices, pain, trauma, love and hope. There are no secrets living here. You cannot hide from yourself and the loins of your roots and ancestral memory. Here lives enslavement, colonialism, Jim Crow and the ever present voices of resiliency and hope. Bravo A. Rafael Johnson.

About the reviewer: Lorraine Currelley is a writer and poet widely anthologized. She’s the executive directors for Poets Network & Exchange, Inc. and the Bronx Book Fair. She resides in New York City.