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Summary

"This is East Texas, and there's lines. Lines you cross, lines you don't cross. That clear?"

New London, Texas, 1937. Naomi Vargas and Wash Fuller know about the lines in East Texas as well as anyone. They know the signs that mark them. They know the people who enforce them. But sometimes the attraction between two people is so powerful, it breaks through even the most entrenched color lines. And the consequences can be explosive.

Ashley Hope Pérez takes the facts of the 1937 New London school explosion, the worst school disaster in American history, as a backdrop for a riveting novel about segregation, love, family, and the forces that destroy people.

©2015 Ashley Hope Pérez (P)2016 Listening Library

What listeners say about Out of Darkness

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Profile Image for Elodia
  • Elodia
  • 05-10-20

What a glimpse back in time! :(

I qas drawn to this story because I'm Mexican American and my dad was from Texas. he would've been about the same age as the twins. Despite being Mexican, his birth certifies says he was white. I wish I could ask him how his experiences compared to those in this story.

This was hard to put down and the ending had so many unexpected twists and heartbreak. I was in tears. so well portrayed. I loved this story and I hurt, laughed and loved right along with the kids and Wash.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Roswatheist
  • 25-09-21

Without Public Rant, How Many Would Discover a Gem

Fortunately, there was such a rant. Curious, I found this and am grateful to the mother who had a public temper tantrum. Being a member of a very diverse family, we’ve always discussed history in that context with our children, so this story would not ever have been out of the question in our home.

As for the story, it’s a realistic depiction of the lives of children in East Texas in the late 1930s. Tragically, the time could be up to now. Having grown up in West Texas myself (where the collective mentality isn’t any different) and seeing first hand in the late 80s and early 90s how teachers would lose their minds at children speaking Spanish, this was a difficult, heartbreaking listen.

For parents who have a more reality-based approach to parenting, this is a good conversation starter for you and your family.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Deborah Buskirk
  • 09-08-18

Prejudice is so depresssing

Movies make me cry sometimes, but books rarely do. But I cried for the hopelessness, ignorance, false superiority portrayed in this book. Prejudice....what a stupid, ignorant mindset.
Narration very good.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Momma Tuck
  • 04-08-22

Banned in some school districts

I honestly only read this book because I saw it was being banned or at risk for being banned at some Texas school districts. I find it ironic that the people who are urging to ban this book, are the people who could learn the most from reading this book. It was excellent from beginning to end, I highly recommend it!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-07-22

Necessary history is critically important

Although part fiction, very true to thousands of stories kept secret, covered up and never told.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-05-22

Heart wrenching, difficult, and incredible

Such a difficult story to listen to, but such an incredible story at the same time. Really loved this one.

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  • Gustavo Perez
  • 29-03-22

Fascinating and Outstanding!

Slow at first but completely evolving realistic fiction novel that feeds off the documented signs of the time and closely follows history. The author's writing style totally brought me into the novel as a first hand observer, I could actually see the area, house, characters and events as they happened. I'm looking for her next one!

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  • Daniel Weis
  • 01-10-21

Gripping story from start to finish

This was not a fun read, but a must read. I felt more and more broken and helpless as I tumbled deeper into it. Yet the books' conclusion offers a glint of hope and optimism for the future. I feel stronger for having endured this novel and the hard truths about our past that it contains.

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  • Susan L. Stewart
  • 08-07-17

you'll need courage.

painful and devastating. poetic and beautiful. brutal and honest. it takes courage to read this.

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  • Hailee Deloach
  • 14-08-16

Summer reading book

This book was really good especially to be a summer reading book in high school (11th grade )