Brad Windhauer, The Intersection, racial tension, books, review

The Intersection - Brad Windhauser

I never really was one for hobbits, wizards, werewolves. And while I feel the knives in my backs from the millions of J R Tolkein fans, Potterheads and Twihards, maybe I just wasn’t creative enough to indulge in any of those fantasy worlds. Personally I prefer people.

The Intersection appealed to me because it feels authentic. Real emotions, genuine dilemmas, tinged with the realization that any one of us could suffer the same fate of the neighbors in this community. When the past begins to give way to a newly shaped future, not everybody is ready to embrace the change. Tensions begin to rise, and as they arrive smack bang at The Intersection, they risk boiling over.

Rose work’s at Lillian’s laundromat, a somewhat mundane job she endeavors to inject her warmth and personality into. While the people of the neighborhood whiz past in a hustle and bustle of activity, Rose is the heart of the community. She cares. Though behind her smiles and efforts to make her customers feel welcome, you feel the hint of a deep buried pain.

“…Later, perhaps years later, she would never understand how she mistook all of that for the sound of dryers. But in that moment, she was afraid for reasons she could not yet comprehend….”

While The Intersection hosts a full set of characters, they all add depth and richness to the story. Windhauser allows us to see The Intersection from many distinct perspectives. While never steering us into believing that one character is right or wrong, he instead succeeds in challenging the reader to be open to the differing opinions. This creates a thought provoking read.

“she was hoping she would not have to remind them that they owed the neighborhood

Carol is a lawyer, a mother. Faced with tragedy that has her returning to her childhood home. (for reasons that I will not elaborate on to avoid spoilers) She is forced to reconsider her attitude towards her old neighbourhood.

“She hadn’t lived those joys in decades, and as these memories found her, they felt awkward.”

And just how does she connect to Michael?

“What would that have to do with what happened to my son?” He stared at her. He blinked, and in a soft voice said, “I don’t know; all I know is that people are talking.”

Michael has his share of demons to face, and needs to come to the realization that wallowing in self pity will not help his situation.

“You have to stop letting the past get in the way of your future.”

Plagued by stereotypes, and the devastating impact of one fateful day, he is yet to learn that not everyone is so quick to judge and place him in a pigeon hole.

“I guess it’s easier to care for something if you’re not the one responsible for it. Besides, I guess I wanted to add something to this neighborhood”.

Full of interesting and diverse characters Brad Windhauser brings to life the neighborhood he so vividly paints on the pages of his new book. The Intersection addresses the rising heat of racial tension in a thought provoking story, that will humble the reader with it’s honesty and emotion.

“He’s just a man, sweetheart. Don’t matter that he white. Only matter that he helping us.”

3.5 out of 5 stars.
Ange S