Loves Long Line
Review written by Tanushree Baidya
In Love’s Long Line, Sophfronia Scott weaves the words of gospel and spiritual healing of her faith through a series of essays.
In part one, the author reckons with the Sandy Hook tragedy, where her son Tain lost his best friend Ben. In For Roxanne Gay, Scott addresses African Americans' anger after the Charleston shooting, and offers a way forward: Forgiveness and spiritual healing, recurrent themes throughout that transcend race.
Part Two focuses on the impact her parents' behavior had on Scott’s childhood. The essays are not neatly packaged to convey closure; she is honest with details, and provides unflinching insight into the tribulations of parental love and abuse, forgiveness, and death. Though heavy-handed at times, her reflections do not detract from the narrative. Scott asserts in Calling Me by My Name that she does not identify primarily as a black woman, but neither rejects nor denies the color of her skin. Instead, she considers how familial relationships, especially with her father, shaped her life choices. She is also fascinated by her name and seeks to understand her identity through it.
This collection is about more than Sandy Hook or the author’s upbringing, and it occasionally loses its way. This reflects the writer’s own journey, as she states: “Most of the time on my journey I am in my car alone, thinking, praying. I am seeking. What am I seeking?”
Tanushree Baidya is