Comeback Season by Cathy Day is a good read for any thirty-something woman who has found herself questioning her choice of career over love. While the main character in the novel longs for a real relationship and a family, she finds herself alone in Pittsburgh facing a dismal dating scene. For many women, the heavy use of football analogies may be overwhelming and hard to follow, but the connection is easy to see as the the protagonist’s ups and downs in love are compared to the highs and lows of her favorite team. While the book is heart-warming, at times, and easy to relate to, less focus on football and more of a focus on a compelling plot would have been two great improvements to the novel.
The latest novel by Essence Bestselling Author Karen E. Quinones Miller is entitled Passin‘. As the title implies, the fiction novel centers around a fair-skinned, blue-eyed young black woman who, initially for career reasons, decides to pass for white. She moves to New York and starts a new career, takes on love interests, and successfully fools her co-workers and friends until an unexpected event challenges her lie.
The author does an excellent job of providing social commentary through the characters’ dialogue with each other and developing the lead character’s transition from cultural experimentation to a lifestyle change.
Nikkie, the lead character who passes for white is forced to question her own motives as she reaps the benefits of passing, while losing the her place in the black community. Is it really worth it? Will Nikkie get caught? Normally, I give away the whole plot in my reviews, but this is definitely a book that requires you to read it on your own, think about it on your own, and come up with your own conclusion.
I would also suggest doing some research of the “passing” phenomenon, popular doing times of more open discrimination against black, but still going on in present times, as in the case of Nikkie in Passin‘ which takes place in present-day New York. I first learned of passing as a little girl when I watched Halle Berry in Alex Haley’s Queen, and more recently upon reading Our Kind of People by Lawrence Graham. With simple internet research, I learned about some very high-profile cases of blacks who were light enough to pass for white. The whole phenomenon is intriguing and the way that Miller presents it is witty and entertaining.
I would definitely recommend this novel, along with two other novels that I have read by Karen Quinones Miller: Using What You Got and Uptown Dreams. Miller is the author of several other works. For more information, visit her website or click on this link to purchase the book.
My take on One L The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School by Scott Turlow
One L is a popular book among entering law school students about the experiences of a One L (a first year law student) at Harvard University. Scott Turlow is an excellent writer and the book is certainly a page turner. This book DOES NOT read like a “how to” guide to law school. Instead, it is written as a memoir as Turlow looks back at his journal entries from his first year, which was many years ago. Although the law school experience has certainly changed (for example, Turlow had the choice of writing his exams on paper or using a typewriter, whereas now most law school students take their exams on computers) but the general spirit of competition, the anxiety felt by the students, the stress, and the rigor are still the same today. Any entering law school student who wants to understand the law school “experience” will greatly enjoy this book, but do not assume that law school is just as Turlow describes them. The main drawback is that the book is melodramatic, so do not take every word too seriously. Also, Turlow was married during law school, so he did not have to struggle financially and his dating life and social life only suffered slightly, which is not typical.
If you are looking for a law school “how to” try Insider’s Guide to Your First Year of Law School A Student-to-Student Handbook from a Law School Survivorby Justin Spiezman. It also read like a novel, but it is packed with lots of information about how to study, network, and look for a job.