The In-Betweens tells the story of a biracial boy becoming a man, all the while trying to find himself, trying to come to terms with his white family, and trying to find his place in American society. A rich narrative in the tradition of Justin Torres’s We the Animals and Bryan Washington’s Memorial, Davon Loeb’s memoir is relevant to the country’s current climate and is part of the necessary rewrite of the nation’s narrative and identity.
The son of a Black mother with deep family roots in Alabama and a white Jewish man from Long Island, Loeb grows up in a Black family in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey as one of the few nonwhite children in their suburban neighborhood. Despite his many and ongoing efforts to fit in, Loeb acutely feels his difference—he is singled out in class during Black History Month; his hair doesn’t conform to the latest fad; coaches and peers assume he is a talented athlete and dancer; and on the field trip to the Holocaust Museum, he is the Black Jew. But all is not struggle. In lyrical vignettes, Loeb vibrantly depicts the freedom, joys, and wonder of childhood; the awkwardness of teen years, first jobs, first passions. Loeb tells an individual story universally, and readers, regardless of subjectivity and relation, will see themselves throughout The In-Betweens.