The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton

Reviewed by Casey

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Written as an oral history in an interview format, this book starts in 2016 when music writer S. Sunny Shelton is granted the opportunity to interview and write a book about Opal and Nev, an interracial duo from the 70s. Shelton is personally tied to them, as her father, their band's drummer, was brutally killed after a rival band brandished the Confederate flag at a promotional concert. This unfortunate moment is photographed and pushes Opal and Nev into popularity as they both try to reckon with the aftermath. Decades later, Shelton's interviews dig up a nasty allegation that threatens everything, just as Opal is considering a reunion tour with Nev.

This writing style really allows the reader to see everyone's perspective, but also helps showcase how each person's version of an event can be wildly different and perhaps even skew the final outcome. I loved following each member involved but, by the end, this really feels like Opal's story. It delves into her thoughts, as she looks back at previous choices she's made and forward to the ones she can make now, concerning politics, history, and racism.

Rating: 5/5 stars