The Men of Brewster Place – Book Review

The Men of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor
Pages: 173
Published Date: 1998
African American Fiction | Literary Fiction | 

 

Gloria Naylor’s The Men of Brewster Place, is a sequel to her The Women of Brewster Place. As the title implies The Men of Brewster Place tells the story of inhabitants of Brewster Place from a male perspective. The men featured in The Men of Brewster Place stories are intertwined with the stories from the women in the first novel. In fact, it’s necessary to read the first novel to understand some of the men’s purpose in the sequel since it’s not obvious. The Men of Brewster Place let the reader into the past, present, and small glimpses into their futures of men whose lives are connected with Brewster Place.

“That wasn’t satisfying.” The first thought that crossed my mind as I read the last page and closed the book. The Men of Brewster Place didn’t live up to my expectation. The Women of Brewster Place was expertly done on three elements; writing, characters, and plots. The Men of Brewster Place delivered only on one element, the writing.

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The Perfect Marriage – Book Review

The Perfect MarriageThe Perfect Marriage by Kimberla The Score by Kiki Swinson
Narrator: Shay Moore
Length: 5 hours and 13 minutes
Release Date: January 1, 2013
African American Fiction | Christian Fiction | Women’s Fiction |

This review is going to start with a story to illustrate how I felt about The Perfect Marriage by Kimberla Lawson Roby. I could do the review without the story but… anyways.

You’re walking down the street returning home from a hards day work and pass by a neighborhood bakery. You once purchased a cupcake from the bakery and while it wasn’t the best cupcake of your life, it had promise. In the window you spot a small pretty cake and decide to buy it. You had a hard day and you deserve cake. You tell the clerk you want the cake in the window and she informs you it’s chocolate. Chocolate is not your favorite but you have made up your mind you want the chocolate cake you spotted in the window. You get home, make dinner and leave just enough room in your stomach to enjoy a healthy size of the cake your purchased from the neighborhood bakery. You take a minute to admire the beauty of, the nice and even buttercream frosting (your favorite) and the simple swirls decorating the top and sides. Your mouth waters a little because you know this cake will be moist and delicious. You take your knife and cut. You fail to notice the first cut reveals the cake was a little dry, excitement clouded your eyes. After cutting your slice you gleefully shove a large forkful into your mouth. The cake is dry, dry enough to make you wonder how long ago it sat in the store. And you could’ve made a better tasting cake from a store brought cake mix.

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The Score – Book Review

The Score by Kiki Swinson
Pages: 368
Published Date: January 26, 2015
African American Fiction | Urban Literature | Thriller | 

 

 Confession 1: I don’t normally read books are categorized as “Urban Literature”. In fact, I will admit when it comes to the “Urban Literature” subcategory of African-American fiction I discriminate, hard. 

 

 Confession 2: I have called “Urban Literature” several names including “Hood Lit”. 

 

Kiki Swinson’s The Score was my first swim in the Urban Lit category in years, close to decade. I swore off the genre after trying to read Candy Licker by Noire. I tried to read Family Business by Carl Weber and Eric Pete a roughly two years ago for my book club. I didn’t have high expectations for Family Business from the start and quit before the halfway point. This background in important because I tried to wipe my previous failed Urban Lit experiences from my mind and read The Score without bias. And I also tried to start the book with the same expectations I have for any other book, I will enjoy myself.

Did I enjoy The Score?
Yes, I did.

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Best Friends Forever – Book Review

Best Friends ForeverBest Friends Forever by Kimberla Lawson Roby
Pages: 192
Published Date: January 05, 2015
African American Fiction | Christian Fiction | Women’s Fiction | 

 

novella

plural novellas or no·vel·le play \-ˈve-lē\

1) plural novelle : a story with a compact and pointed plot

2) plural usually novellas : a work of fiction intermediate in length and complexity between a short story and a novelMerriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.

Novellas can be a beautiful thing. Novellas are great for there isn’t time to invest in a novel and they have more substance than a short story. Depending on the length a novella can take a couple of hours to read. Quick entertainment via book. But novella’s can be tricky to master. Their length provides enough space to go into greater detail than short stories and more chances for thorough character development. Novellas are short enough for some stories feel crammed into tight page limitations. Unfortunately, Best Friends Forever by Kimberla Lawson Roby is longer novel crammed into novella format.

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The Women Of Brewster Place – Book Review

The Women of Brewster PlaceThe Women of Brewster Place: A Novel in Seven Stories by Gloria Naylor
Pages: 192
Published Date: 1982
African American Fiction | Classic Fiction | Literary Fiction | Women’s Fiction |

 

The simplest description of Gloria Naylor’s The Women of Brewster Place is the story of seven women inhabiting Brewster Place. “A novel in seven stories” but that description is not the best one to use for The Women of Brewster Place. It’s hard to adequately describe The Women of Brewster Place, the seven stories aren’t separate individual stories. The Women of Brewster Place is one complicated story about the past, present, and future of women whose lives are shaped by a world that they can’t fully control. Lives complicated by friends, family, men, children, politics, race, and gender.

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