In her final novel, “a beautiful and devastating examination of family, society and race” (The New York Times), Dorothy West offers an intimate glimpse into the Oval, a proud, insular community made up of the best and brightest of the East Coast's Black bourgeoisie on Martha’s Vineyard in the 1950s.
Within this inner circle of "blue-vein society," we witness the prominent Coles family gather for the wedding of the loveliest daughter, Shelby, who could have chosen from "a whole area of eligible men of the right colors and the right professions." Instead, she has fallen in love with and is about to be married to Meade Wyler, a white jazz musician from New York. A shock wave breaks over the Oval as its longtime members grapple with the changing face of its community.
With elegant, luminous prose, Dorothy West crowns her literary career by illustrating one family's struggle to break the shackles of race and class.