'Leaving Atlanta' is a novel based on one of Atlanta's darkest moments--the Atlanta child murders. The Atlanta child murders began in the summer of 1979 when the bodies of two adolescent African American bodies were found in the city of Atlanta. Lasting for two years, it is believed than an additional 20 African American children were also murdered. During June 1981, 23 years old Wayne Williams was charged with the murders of the children and two adults as well. Author Tayari Jones retells the horrors of that time, emphasizing the fear that terrorized the city's citizens. Even more gripping than the memories that emerge in readers' minds, is the perspective through which Jones writes. Divided into three parts, the novel describes the tragedies through the eyes, thoughts and minds of three children. Each child describes the effects the child murders had on them, their daily routines, friendships, and lives. The first part of the novel is told through the perspective of Tasha Baxter. The second story focuses on Rodney Green and the third is centered on Octavia Harrison. Despite the different issues that are presented in the individual stories, each story tells is chilling, and gripping. Each story describes a world where children's lives are interrupted, a world where children are thrust into an adult world.
September 14, 2013