A rallying cry for social justice leaps off the pages of this fierce memoir from Rice, a crusading attorney for America's disenfranchised (and, yes, a cousin of Condoleezza). With a caustic tongue and a quixotic passion for upending intractable bureaucracies, she has braved the battlegrounds of Los Angeles's unforgiving gang subculture as well as its scandal-prone police department, jump-starting a hopeful new era for both through hard-won trials and landmark reforms. What's most remarkable about Rice, though, is her dry-eyed idealism, her contention that her work is not done “until every child from Harlem, East L.A., or Looxahoma, Mississippi, no longer faces the likelihood of living unhealthy, ignorant, and poor.” Could one expect anything less from a lawyer who named her cat Jaws? (amazon.com)
For a review of Suzzy Roche's new novel, Wayward Saints, click here.