I had the pleasure of receiving an advanced reader copy (ARC) of Return to Arms in exchange for a review. I’m glad I got a chance to read this book. Sheree L. Greer is an amazing author who doesn’t shy away from hard discussions or difficult topics. Her debut novel Let the Lover Be touched on alcoholism and self destruction, the delicate nature of relationships we have with others and ourselves.
Return to Arms is no different. The very difficult topic of racial injustice, black people being killed on a daily basis is a reality we as a community are being forced to deal with with every breath we take. The media would have you believe that only black men are being targeted. But black women, black children, and black members of the queer community are also being targeted. The author makes sure you acknowledge this.
This book will have you seeing, if you don’t already, the areas where belonging to more than just one group (black and female, black and queer, black, female, and queer) complicates the struggle for equality, visibility, justice, and humanity.
But this book will also show you, encourage you, to persist in that pursuit of justice, equality, and visibility. We must persist. Because that is the only way racial injustice, racism, misogyny, homophobia, and hatred will be stopped.
RTA carries the weight of not just being good fiction, but of being a text people will look at as proof that work is being done, and that there is so much more that needs to happen.
Return to Arms does double duty presenting us with a burgeoning romance as well. The main characters Folami and Toya, come together at a crucial point in both their lives. Both trying to navigate who they are and how they can exist in a world that seems to hate them. At times they are frustrating as a couple, but what relationship is perfect?
This book is full of tension and real life moments that get under your skin no matter the color- getting pulled over by the police, standing up for what’s right, acknowledging the true self, or just existing as a brown/black skinned person.
There were several times when I had to put the book down to breath. I imagine the author had to as well. I’m disappointed that the ending is so appropriate. I don’t know that it could end any other way. I hope you’ll read Return to Arms so you understand just what I mean by that.
Check out Sheree‘s other work: