Representation and its significance take center stage in Dawnie Walton’s debut. Inspired by the author’s own deep desire for an Afro-punk role model during her teenage years, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev is a fictionalized account of Opal Jewel, a Black singer ahead of her time navigating the world of rock ‘n’ roll in the 1970s. Decades later, journalist Sunny Curtis sets out to create an oral history of her idol—and is confronted with an allegation about the controversial event that catapulted Opal to stardom. The revelation threatens both the project and her career, and what unfolds is a poignant and relevant reckoning for two captivating women.
Readers will appreciate Walton’s examination of the entertainment world, particularly the industry’s attempts to center whiteness and contain women. Through a vivid cast of characters and a slow build, readers witness the power of being seen and of being looked out for. The Final Revival of Opal & Nev is an utterly absorbing addition to contemporary fiction.
By Samantha Ladwig
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2021 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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