Sandra E. Johnson talks with Walter Edgar about her latest novel, Flowers for the Living. The novel tells the story of how a suicidal African-American teenager's forcing a young white cop to kill him devastates the teenager’s mother as well the rookie cop. It also sparks a massive race riot and puts the mother and rookie in the cross hairs of a deranged gunman.
The only place Emma Jennings, the mother, and Russell “Rusty” Carter, Jr., the cop, find refuge from the chaos engulfing them is the teenager’s serenely beautiful grave. Through initially awkward meetings there, Emma and Rusty establish a bond that they must ultimately rely on to rebuild their lives and help heal their city.
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