by Rhea Harmsen


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When Jack Wolinsky created the Southside Redevelopment Project he wasn't expecting to almost die from a savage racial beating.

He expected to use his architectural skills to fix up the inner city, to create housing, employ people, and give them a profit-share in his startup. All this on a few credit cards left over from his corporate days and a notion that one crazy white dude could do something about race relations.

He didn't expect to meet Fiona Reed, and have her throw a monkey wrench into his plans. Though she'd tell you it was her drive and ambition that gave his dream wings; her Terminator attitude that won the grants, the health insurance, did magic on a shoestring, while he was busy designing urban gardens and fishing homeless winos out of the garbage.

Together, they grew the company, took tattered misfits and built a community, and made some inadvertent enemies. They rode a wave of euphoria doing what young people crave: daily meaning in their work. But he couldn't see her, wouldn't let himself see her. While all she had eyes for was him.

Yet, when love finally came knocking, it was Fiona who turned tail and ran. When violence, race-memory and mistrust reared their ugly heads, and her overprotective daddy and Jack started the gut wrenching, mind bending, heart transforming conversation on race, where was little Miss Perfect then?

Never mind that race is the most challenging issue sabotaging the American dream. Forget our need for fairy tales. Deny that black and white are like two saplings grown entwined, that can no longer be divided. All Jack's idealism came crashing down on his head when Fiona saved his life by leaving him; shattered, soul depleted and alone. For Jack, that was the beginning of crazy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781495965142
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 02/24/2014
Pages: 402
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.82(d)

About the Author

Rhea Harmsen is a scientist, novelist and author of LANGUAGE OF THE SPIRIT (1997), a volume of selected poems. She has also released three novels, THE HARVEST OF REASON(2011), INTERMARRY(2013), and GOD CREATED WOMEN(2013). Harmsen was born in a family with a black father and a white mother at a time when interracial marriage was still illegal in some states. Her parents gave her a vision of world citizenship that informs her writing and her lifestyle and has caused her to reject traditional views of race and gender.
Harmsen's article "Science in the Hands of Women: Present Barriers, Future Promise" appeared in World Order in 1998 and provides the foundation for the story line for her novel THE HARVEST OF REASON. She co-published the Monroeville Race Unity Forum Bulletin and authored many poems on racial topics, crystallizing the "conversation on race" in the novel INTERMARRY. Her work with domestic violence survivors in Puerto Rico inspired the novel GOD CREATED WOMEN. In 2012 Harmsen released ISAIAH'S LONGING, a CD of her spoken word poetry with music by composer Lee Robinson. Harmsen holds a doctorate in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has two children and currently resides in Puerto Rico with her husband. Upcoming projects are described in her web page at

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