FAY WILSON-BEACH and GLYGER G. BEACH
Ouida Sebestyen's novel Words by Heart will strike a responsive chord in the hearts of anyone who has ever believed that mobility is achieved not by skin color but by hard work (the Puritan work ethic), God's favor (Full Gospel Businessmen's Association) or intelligence. All three elements are embodied in this tale of a young Black girl growing up in the all-white town of Bethel Springs….
By the end of the novel it is evident that Lena's "magic mind" has not won her any significant number of friends or increased her stature in the neighborhood or school. Ben's hard work and dependability earn him the hatred of his neighbors and eventually his murder. And what we are left with is God's favor,...
(The entire section is 864 words.)