Tara Conlin’s novel The House Girl captivated me. It contains history, stories of separation and reunion and family and secrets and answers and asks questions that are still pertinent today. Do yourself a favor and read this novel.
From the book:
“So the project is this—we’ve agreed to assist a client, Ron Dresser of Dresser Technology, on a reparations claim, historical reparations. You may have heard about this stuff in the news. It’s new legal theory, really groundbreaking stuff. Dresser Tech works primarily in oil and gas, as you probably know, engineering and logistics work. Big projects for the government, petrochemical companies, that sort of thing. This lawsuit is something of a departure for them, to say the least.” Dan snorted a laugh, picked up a pen, and began to helicopter it with the thumb and index finger of his right hand. Lina watched the pen twirl.
“The claim is for slaves, I mean ex-slaves, ancestors of slaves, great-great-great-grandchildren of slaves, to claim money from roughly twenty private companies that benefited way back when from slave labor. We’ve cleared them all with the conflicts department, so long as we isolate you two. No discussing this case with anyone. Understood?” Dan’s brow crinkled sternly. Linda nodded a solemn yes. “Now the federal government will also be an initial plaintiff, to maximize the monetary claim and for . . . well, for publicity purposes more than anything else. We’ll be using an unjust enrichment theory, mixed with crimes against humanity to get around the time-bar problem. It’s a stretch, of course”—Dan laughed, nervously it seemed to Linda—“but Mr. Dresser is pretty confident he wants to give it a go. And we’re happy to help him. So long as he keeps paying us for all the deal work we do for him.”