A racial epithet, then a mad scramble to drive away, only to be stymied by a “turnaround” in the street…and the episode ends in violence. One boy is dead, another two injured.
Thirty-five years later, we see the ramifications still unfolding in shattered lives; anger and hate rippling forward and outward; and in the midst of it all, there is also hope for redemption and reparation.
Set in Washington, D.C., beginning in the 1970s, The Turnaround explores themes of hatred, fear, ignorance, and dashed dreams. Of all the characters, Alex Pappas is the one who seems strongest, with his steadfast movement toward the goals his father established: maintaining the family diner, putting aside a “little something” for the future; and family loyalty.
Meanwhile, in counterpoint, are the Monroe brothers: James and Raymond. Their family values were also strong, but somehow, they each seemed to stray off track. But a strong sense of loyalty sustains them over the years, and gradually brings them back to a place of strength and purpose.
How do these three characters connect again after all these years? What is Raymond’s plan to heal the breach? And how will the wild card, Charles, violent and seemingly without any redeeming qualities, try to muck things up?
In the end, this story had a satisfying feeling, as we see how the physical “turnaround” that changed their lives can be a metaphorical one. Indeed, they can find a resolution to their damaged lives. Five stars.