Beach, Lake, Pool, or Air Cond. Reading

Stephen L. Carter's New England White is a thick novel which was published in 2007. This Slate writer does a fine job explaining the plot's particulars (so I don't have to).

My two cents: Carter's book is part murder mystery, part social commentary, and part soap opera. It's also preachy, repetitive, and implausible, but Carter, a prof at Yale Law, still manages to be a fairly tasteful, fairly original wordsmith. I couldn't stop reading the book because a) the central characters are members of the American black bourgeoisie, and b) the setting is a chilly (as in 'brr,' and as in 'snooty') northeastern college campus. An engrossing mix.

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