Susan Sherrell. Grace (2009) 305 pp. [tpo]
Publishers description: Summer 1972 and twenty-three-year-old UC student Leah DeMartino is working at a race track north of Berkeley. She befriends a slightly older co-worker, the beautiful and enigmatic Grace Neville. When Graces body is found floating in San Francisco Bay, Leahs life takes an unsettling turn as she meets the fanatical but charismatic James Ferguson, head of Security for Oaklands Black Panther Party, and good-looking but unpredictable Ronnie Xavier Jones, recently back from Vietnam. This story weaves together post-sixties Bay Area themes—the quest for human dignity on the part of African-Americans, the anger and rage of returning Vietnam vets who feel disrespected in their own country, the ambiguous role of the Oakland Police Department, and, above all, exciting new freedoms in love, sex and relationships.
Setting: Oakland, Berkeley (1972)