Life takes a strange turn when Richard Allan Gordon, thirty years old and as white as they come, discovers that, as a result of identity theft, five-year-old Jada Reece Gordon bears his name. The product of a middle-class Jewish upbringing, Richie finds himself completely in love and lust with Jada’s mother, LaTisha, a twenty-five-year-old African American nursing student, and longs to be a father to her child.
Richie and LaTisha’s story takes place at the intersection of love, race, and identity, as the couple is forced to examine their relationship in light of the terrible event that takes the life of a young black father and catapults their midwestern city into chaos. As riots erupt around them and Richie discovers a secret about his own past that challenges his long-held ideas, he and LaTisha must come to grips with the forces that threaten to tear their relationship apart. A novel that doesn’t shy away from the racism that dwells within the unexamined hearts of so many Americans, Twelfth and Race may shock or outrage some readers, yet its story is ultimately timely, honest, and hopeful.