★★★★ In times of adversity, sometimes one must find an inner strength in order to persevere and move on, while sometimes it is necessary to rely on faith to get oneself through the difficult time. In The Unjust Know No Shame by Alonza Williams, Josephine ‘Mama Jo’ Green has to rely on her belief in the lord to get herself and her family through the trials that come their way. This novel tells the story of Mama Jo and her grandson Phillip and his college friend, Teri. Teri’s life has been anything but easy, as she was convicted of assaulting a student at her high school, in what was declared a racial incident. However, when she meets Phillip in college, the two of them form a strong bond, but this bond alone does not protect them from the injustice and intolerance of those around them. Phillip’s life is put in danger because of his relationship with Teri, as her father’s racial intolerance boils over and aims to smother them both. In the end, Mama Jo, has to gather her strength in order to help guide her grandson out of harm’s way.
This novel is very well written, and the characters presented are familiar ones, so familiar in fact, it almost feels as if you’ve met them before in your own life. Williams does a very good job in fleshing out the individuals he writes about, giving them real life situations that we have all been aware of at one point or another. By bringing in themes such as racism, intolerance, friendship, and faith, his story creates a rich narrative that offers many lessons about the strength of believing in a higher power, and how the love of family can overcome almost anything in the end.