I read this synopsis and was instantly reminded of Daisy Jones and The Six (read my thoughts here), a book I read last year and absolutely adored! At first, I was a bit hesitant these two books would be too similar – and they are – but there are enough major differences that it makes them both worth reading!
Before Daisy Jones, I had not read an oral history book. It worked really well for me with Daisy, and again with Opal and Nev. I appreciate how it feels like I’m watching a documentary – almost like I’m a part of the story rather than just reading or watching one. I also love how the format allows deeper nuances to be revealed that’s much more complicated to accomplish with a tradtionally relayed story. I’m not sure how long this style will hold my attention, but so far, so good!
While Daisy Jones focused more on the relationship between Daisy and her bandmate, Billy, Opal and Nev took on a much bigger issue that feels incredibly timely: social justice. While it feels new to those of us currenly living through the race riots of 2020, the idea that Black people are not treated as equals in American society definitely is not. Opal has grown up and felt that suppression all her life and when she’s finally given a platform to bring awareness to the issues facing Blacks in the 1970s, she wants to use it.
Through Opal, Walton gives us a stong, independent Black woman – something that is missing in so many stories. I loved the shell Opal created around herself – both as a protection shield around her heart, and as her armor in the battlefield of social justice. She is very clear on what she believes is right and wrong and she fiercely stands by her convictions regardless of the repercussions. When many would choose fame and/or fortune, Opal chooses her morality.
The Final Revival of Opal and Nev expands the oral history genre and gives fan of 1970s rock and roll another book to get immersed in!