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Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite
God Doesn’t Love Us All the Same by Nina Guilbeau is a touching novel about the connection that develops between a young woman unsure about the path of her life and a homeless woman who shares her life story. Not only does Janine learn about the hardships and heartbreak Vera faced as the daughter of an African-American servant and the son of a ‘typical’ Southern aristocrat in the 1950s, she recognizes the importance of acceptance and forgiveness. Janine struggles with her attitude towards other people and is surprisingly drawn to Vera, an old woman living on the street near where Janine works. Alternately captured and repulsed by Vera’s story, Janine is continually pulled back, only to realize that she genuinely cares. Janine discovers that there are many types of love – some uplifting, some smothering – and that standing up to rejection or even just the fear of losing that love can be the most difficult thing to face.
The inequality suffered by African-Americans, especially women, is the key to this captivating story by Nina Guilbeau. God Doesn’t Love Us All the Same examines the limited options of women who were the playthings of White southern ‘gentlemen’ and what happened to them and their bi-racial children when there was no one left to take care of them. The result for some, as in Vera’s character, has been homelessness and a loss of hope when the choices made for daily living amounted to selling out. While the story is sad, even horrifying, it is ultimately uplifting and provides a ray of hope for those who can ‘stop the movie’ and make positive steps towards self-forgiveness.