"Anywhere You Run" | Reviewed by Susan Ferguson
“Anywhere You Run,” by Wanda M. Morris, is a suspenseful, historical fiction novel about two Black sisters trying to escape Jackson, Mississippi, each for very different reasons. It’s the summer of 1964, and Violet and Marigold Richards, who recently lost their oldest sister and their parents, find themselves in deep trouble. They are desperate to leave Mississippi and head north, away from the unfairness of Jim Crow laws and their personal troubles.
Violet is beautiful, the middle and wildest of the three Richards sisters. Having been previously attacked and raped by Huxley Broadus, she is determined to prevent it from happening again. Violet learns quickly that the laws in Jackson don’t apply to white boys when crimes are committed against Blacks.
Huxley attacks Violet a second time, but this time Violet is carrying her deceased daddy’s gun. Now Violet is on the run with her boyfriend, Dewey Leonard, even though she doesn’t love him. Dewey is a means to an end, is taking them north where they can be together and away from his father, the leader of the local White supremacist group. Violet leaves a note for Marigold without any explanation.
Marigold is the youngest sister, the smart sister with ambitions of becoming a lawyer. Marigold’s dreams of law school dissolves as she finds herself pregnant and unmarried. The father, a lawyer helping with the Mississippi Summer Project, heads back north as soon as he learns Marigold is pregnant. Embarrassed and socially shamed, Marigold decides to marry Roger Bonny who has been asking her to marry him. Roger and Marigold head to Cleveland to live with Roger’s brother where they can find jobs and live without the Jim Crow Laws holding them back.
As both sisters flee their troubles, they face obstacles on their path to happiness and greater freedom. The strangest of these obstacles is the mysterious man who is looking for them. Who is he? Why is he following Marigold? Why is he asking about Violet?
“Anywhere You Run” is a thriller with abundant plot twists. It is a powerful story with memorable characters, escalating tension and plenty of emotion, a story that will stay with you long after you have finished the book.