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Heart and Soul: The Remarkable Courtship and Marriage of Josh and Virginia Craft Rose

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Mary Ellen Butler

In an enormously appealing family saga, Heart and Soul delivers the biographies of two black students enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh during the Great Depression. Working-class Joshua Rose meets Virginia Craft, whose father is a Harvard graduate and whose mother is a member of one of Boston’s most affluent black families.

They begin a five-year courtship at the Centre Avenue YMCA in Pittsburgh’s Hill District—the vibrant Harlem of Pennsylvania.  Through the revelations of 153 letters between the pair, readers discover that the young man is catapulted into the orbit of a family that descends from two of the most daring and renowned escaped slaves, a family whose bloodlines include a U.S. president and other famous Americans, and whose narratives touch four centuries and three other presidents.

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230 pages