What is this about?: This is the story of how Mildred and Richard fell in love and fought to change the law against interracial marriages in the US in the 1950s.
What else is this about?: While, Mildred and Richard brought about immense change, theirs is still simply a love story.
Should you read: Yes. Don’t let a story in blank verse turn you off.
Blurb: Written in blank verse, the story of Mildred Loving, an African American girl, and Richard Loving, a Caucasian boy, who challenge the Virginia law forbidding interracial marriages in the 1950s.
You’ve probably seen the trailer for Loving, a new movie out soon about Richard and Mildred Loving, and their fight to be able to live together and be recognised as husband and wife in Virginia. This is a book, aimed at YA readers and written in blank verse.
Blank verse. Is about the most intimidating thing I can think of when it comes to reading a book. Quite possibly because of far too many English lessons delving into poetry and the hidden meanings behind far too many old, dead poets. Yes, I might be a wee bit biased here.
But, I decided to risk it and I am so glad I did. Blank verse is verse without rhyme, making this for a powerful, beautiful read.
Patricia Hruby Powell chronicles Mildred and Richard’s first meeting, their falling in love and marriage, before following this couple to their fight for their marriage to be recognised in Virginia. Powell makes a complicated story much simpler for her audience, with verse that is tender and makes your heart hurt for what they went through. And she does not shy away from the toll it took on Mildred and Richard. The accompanying art by Shadra Strickland is simple but anything more would not fit Powell’s text.
While Richard and Mildred brought about so much change, in the end, this is a love story. And one everyone should know.
Have you ever read a book in blank verse? What was your experience? And will Loving vs Virginia be your next title?