For fans of Daisy Jones & The Six: a rollicking tale with equal parts rock 'n' roll and Black feminist punk spirit.
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Why I love it
Gold Medal Gymnast and Advocate
The Final Revival of Opal & Nev: From page one of this fictional story written as a series of interviews, I felt like I was right there watching everything unfold. I had to keep reminding myself that the characters weren’t actually real-life rock stars and that I couldn’t look them up online!
Meet S. Sunny Curtis. She’s an award-winning writer and editor-in-chief with complicated ties to famed musician Opal Jewel. And who is Opal? She’s a singing icon who is unapologetically herself and one-half of the short-lived duo, Opal & Nev. When Sunny begins her research, there are still questions swirling about what happened between Opal & Nev and rival band the Bond Brothers all those years ago. I admire S. Sunny Curtis’s determination and bravery as she explores the story she swore she would never pursue. And when she uncovers a new revelation, the narrative changes forever.
This gripping novel reads like an exposé and a tribute at the same time. I couldn’t put the book down as I kept learning more about the whole cast of characters who share their personal stories as well as their varying perspectives on what really happened. An unforgettable page-turner, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev is a uniquely-written examination of racism, family tensions, the music industry, and American society of the 1970s.
Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, Afro-punk before that term existed. Coming of age in Detroit, she can’t imagine settling for a 9-to-5 job—despite her unusual looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her at a bar’s amateur night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together for the fledgling Rivington Records.
In early seventies New York City, just as she’s finding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal’s bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially Black women, who dare to speak their truth.
Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duo’s most politicized chapter. But as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatens to blow up everything.
Provocative and chilling, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev features a backup chorus of unforgettable voices, a heroine the likes of which we’ve not seen in storytelling, and a daring structure, and introduces a bold new voice in contemporary fiction.