For Rae Dodson, the early seventies are as hopeful and promising as the peace signs popping up everywhere. The signature sounds of Motown are filling Detroit's airwaves, and automobile factories are supporting a burgeoning black middle class, which works by day and plays bid whist by night. Rae's hip older sister, Kimmie, has moved home from New Orleans;her mother's nerves have calmed enough for her to stop taking her "vitamins"; her father has discovered new painkillers that ease his chronic migraines; and now, despite her parents' sleeping in separate rooms, the peace between them seems to be holding. All that shifts, however, when Rae's mother suddenly takes off with her lover down a stretch of highway.
Left to care for her ailing father, Rae grows up faster than any young girl should and is forced to admit that her mother may be incapable of love, that her father's love may be too all-consuming. What's most obvious is that neither seems fully capable of looking after Rae, who is searching not only for a way to make her family whole again but also for a way to make sense of her own budding sexuality.
With fully realized characters and an infinitely imaginative storyline, Shifting Through Neutral heralds the arrival of a promising new talent.