Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Prah, Constantine and Baryeh Reviews: Let it Shine by Alyssa Cole

Hello, Folks! Welcome to the first Prah, Constantine and Baryeh Review for 2020. It's the month of love, yes, but more importantly, it's Black History Month, which makes the book we read even more significant - Let It Shine by Alyssa Cole.

Here's the blurb:
Sofronia Wallis knows that proper Black women don’t court trouble by upending the status quo, but it’s 1961 and the Civil Rights movement is in full swing. Sofie’s spent half her life being prim, proper, and reserved—as if that could bring her mother back—but the nonviolent protests happening across the South bring out her inner agitator.

Ivan Friedman has devoted his life to boxing, loving the finesse of a well-delivered punch and the penance of receiving one. His family escaped from Europe before the horrors of WWII, and Ivan decides to help fight injustice in their new country, even if it goes against all his instincts as a fighter.

When Ivan and Sofie meet, they realize that their pasts are intertwined and—with the sparks that fly between them—perhaps their futures will be too. With everything in their society lined up against them, will Sofie and Ivan be able to beat the odds? Or will their chance at love be destroyed by the tumultuous times they live in?

**Let It Shine originally appeared in The Brightest Day: A Juneteenth Historical Romance Anthology. This version features the original story, as well as a bonus short story, No Valley Low.***

My Review
Let it Shine is a short, fast read about a forbidden love in 1961 between a Black woman and a Jew. It was time when such a relationship was illegal. I enjoyed this super sweet romance which started out as a childhood friendship when Sofie's mother used to work for Ivan's family. Through their eyes, we catch a glimpse of some of the realities of the Civil Right Era. I haven't read many books set in 1960s USA, and this was educational. 

What I enjoyed most about this story was the narration. I've read a few Alyssa Cole books, but this is the one that made me pause and think, "Alyssa can write!"

I recommend this book anytime, but especially now during Black History Month. 

Don't forget to head over to check out reviews by Prah and Constantine.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Cathrina. I just read your review. We definitely agree

  2. We're on the same track with this one. Yes Ms. Cole can write!

    1. I noticed another of her books, Let Us Dream, which is another historical.

  3. I have this on my TBR. Should bump it up the list