Automotive Holiday Deals Books Holiday Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon Adele egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Beauty Deals Martha Stewart American Made Amazon Gift Card Offer minions minions minions  Amazon Echo Starting at $84.99 Kindle Black Friday Deals Shop Now HTL

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars70
Format: Mass Market PaperbackChange
Price:$6.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2002
When one carries their own burdens they weigh heavily; but when the burdens are not your own they change your life. Carmen Taylor has designated herself the official burden carrier for all, however when she runs to her friend Desiree's rescue again, she finds this just may be the one burden that she's gonna have to lay down.
Gonna Lay Down My Burdens is a complex story of love, loyalty and loss. Carmen Taylor, from the time she was thirteen years old, has found herself bound to people in friendship out of a strange sense of obligation and loyalty. Throughout the story, with every show of loyalty, there is a loss and she constantly reaches right down and bears one more cross. The one other constant for Carmen is her love for Chester Sheffield and her inability to have him. Whether it's because at the time he wasn't interested in her, she was pushing him away or her best friend decided she wanted him, Carmen seemed to be on the outside looking in.
Ms. Monroe portrays a stunning picture of how children (like Carmen) can take on responsibilities that are not theirs to bear and will carry that habit into adulthood. She also paints a very clear picture of how people will take advantage of the burden bearers in their life and Desiree, Burl, and all of Carmen's burden ridden friends do just this.
This book was a bit difficult for me to get started, but once I did, I was hooked. It moved at a steady pace and Ms. Monroe has a way of walking through a person's life and giving you insight to all of their idiosyncrasies without loading down the reader with mundane details. I became so involved with the story that I talked to the characters with warnings and reprimands. I even became frustrated to the point I wanted to put the book down, but Ms. Monroe's gift of storytelling is made evident in that no matter how you feel about what is going on in the story you have to know how it ends. This is a really good read.
APOOO BookClub
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2003
Mary Monroe has done it again. Her latest book Gonna Lay Down My
Burdens is another example of her great creative imagination. This
well written piece of art is entertaining, heartfelt, as well as
hilarious. It will keep you in suspense until the very end. Once you
read the first page, the characters come alive and keep you wanting
The main character, Carmen, learns life lessons through carrying
emotional draining secrets which become burdens that are just too
heavy to carry. From childhood to womanhood she carries the burdens
caused from unwise and unnecessary decisions along with lies and
secrets that have snowballed out of control. In return, these issues
enabled her to live a life that is unhealthy in all areas of
Carmen's friend Desiree is living and loving simply for the moment.
Desiree's own secrets helped her to become the free spirit person she
is. She finds strength in her friend Carmen, who feels dedicated to
carry her burdens as well. When being faced with having to run away
from all the people she loves most, due to yet another mistake,
Carmen realizes it's time to lay down the burdens and let them go and
try to put the pieces of life back together in some type of orderly
fashion. However, she was not prepared for what was to follow.
This book was different from Ms. Monroe's previous two books which
dealt with mentally challenged characters. She came with a different
angle with this book allowing her readers to see the versatile style
of writing she can offer. I think she is an exceptional author. If
you have never experienced the joy her writing can bring, I advise
you not to only read this book, but also God Don't Like Ugly and the
Upper Room.
Stacy Campbell
APOOO BookClub
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2004
This book was ok.
Ok, let's start it like this....
You help your bestfriend out by going to her house to help her get away from her boyfriend beating her, then you turn around and hit him in the head thinking you killed him. Not to mention the fact that this is a man you have been in love with since he was a boy and he is also the person that took your virginity, but you would not let yourself be with him because you owed another man your life because you paralyzed a man playing a trick on him.
Good grief, that story line was jacked up from the beginning. Call me selfish, but there is not that much guilt in the world to put your life on hold for someone else. Yes, Carmen can feel like she was in debt to Burl for the rest of his life because of his accident that she helped cause, but as fas as her love life, she can love whomever she wants.
If you read this book you will see that Carmen was just too dayum friendly and she let people take advangtage of her.
I was suprise at Mary Monroe, because this story line what just tired.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2003
Gonna lay Down My Burdens
("The best book I've read so far")
"I kept my tears and my weakness to myself." That is so true because in this book one of the character's, named Carmen keeps all her feelings to herself. She always tries to help others. Mary Monroe's purpose of writing this book was to create a image in the mind, And make it feel like you're there, or your one of the characters. The setting is very overwhelming ; It created a wonderful mood for the reader. The language has dialect. This is truly a fascinating book.
In Gonna Lay Down My Burden, there are two best friends and one man. When Carmen has a night to remember with Chester, she doesn't tell Desiree about it. So, this creates a problem when Desiree starts dating him. Also, when Carmen interferes with a fight between Desiree and Chester, she does something that will change her and Desiree's life forever.
The story setting is very detail and it makes it feel like the reader is there. " The rain, hammering down out of the north, thumped on the windows of my dependable old Nissan like rocks" This lets the reader know how fast the rain was coming down and it kind of make the reader feel like they were in the rain as well. Mary Monroe did a great job at creating the mood.
The characters of the story are childhood friends. Carmen is the type of person that keeps her troubles to herself and everybody knows a person like that. Where on the other hand Desiree is that type that always get herself in trouble but can't get herself out of it and have to call her friend to help her out.
The plot is the important part of the story. It gets kind of confusing at the begin because it jumps from the present to the past and then back to the present. Once the reader get use to the plot it is wonderful. It tells all the way up unto the present day.
Language is another important part of the story. It is a narrative its told in third person. It has that southern kind of talk because it is set in Alabama.
To close, this book receive five stars from every aspect. The only thing it can be confusing and keeps the reader wondering till the end.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 15, 2002
Gonna Lay Down My Burdens is a great drama that opens strong and keeps the reader hooked until the very last page. We are introduced to the story's central character, Carmen Taylor, on her wedding day when she has an eerie, apprehensive moment prior to receiving an urgent telephone call from her maid of honor, Desiree. Desiree, Carmen's best friend and drama queen, is having yet another domestic episode with live-in policeman boyfriend, Chester, and frantically asks Carmen to come rescue her. When she arrives, a scuffle ensues and Carmen delivers a fatal blow to Chester's head.
As they flee to escape capture for the murder of a cop, Carmen relives her life in a series of flashbacks where we meet the primary characters of Chester, Burl (Carmen's fiancé), Desiree and many other funny, interesting townsfolk of Belle Helene, Alabama. Monroe skillfully allows us to experience the development of friendships, meet the town's dysfunctional families, and witness childhood crushes evolve into adult romances. As the story progresses, we clearly understand how the strong-willed Carmen with the big heart ultimately becomes so heavily burdened by guilt and shame to the point that she neglects her own happiness and nearly self destructs.
I think this book will fare well simply because it is a good story that is told very well. Monroe's writing style is easy to follow and the book exhibits solid pacing. With this being her third novel, I can say Monroe has earned a place on my favorite author list.
APOOO Bookclub
Nubian Circle Book Club (Orlando, FL)
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2002
This book was anything but burdensome. Ms. Monroe has an incredible knack for writing just the way you or someone you know might think. She writes her characters so well, you find yourself smiling or frowning as the case may be, because you actually do know someone like them. This particular book has a theme that I'm finding in all of my favorite books; stories I know I'll never forget. How far do the ripples go with the throwing of even the tiniest stone? This story has layers and consequences. She is truly building her reputation as an author of note. Remarkable author. Remarkable story.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2003
I really enjoyed reading this book. I have read Mary Monroe's other two books, But Gonna Lay My Burdens down has been by far the best book I've ever read in 2002. I didn't want the book to end. And the fact that the story was set in Alabama made me relate to the storyline. Mary always seem to write about small towns.
Carmen went through so much drama with always trying to be there for everyone's problems. I'm so surprised she didn't snap out at anyone. How she kept her secrets coming really amazed me. I didn't like the Desirree character at all, she was very selfish and I would've dropped her as a friend a long time ago, especially after that arguement in the hotel room. I thought that Crazy Mimi and Sweet Jimmie were funny. I was saddened by what happened to Kitty, that was an accident that took me by surprise. I liked how Mary described Carmen's parent's as a loving black couple living in the south. I thought that stood out in the book. I was feeling sorry for Burl until I found out what he did, which was so wrong for him to do that.
I was so curious to see what Chester would've looked like in real life. Because Mary Monroe had me believing that he was foine! I think I'm going to add Ms Monroe on the list of my favorite authors. I can't wait for her next book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2005
Mary Monroe's powerful voice speaks volumes to her audience. She gets into the hearts and souls of her readers by creating characters that they can relate to.

Gonna Lay Down My Burdens is a novel about deception, lonliness and guilt. As the main character Carmen, determined to make amends for her cruel acts spends most of her adult life feeling obligated to a man for the pain that she caused him during their childhood. She promises herself to this man, whom she doesn't love because of her guilt. Carmen started on a journey that wasn't her own but a surprising twist of faith leads her to her true love.This book speaks of love and lost and it will take you on a journey that will leave you feelinf fulfilled.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2002
I realy enjoyed reading this book, and loved just how many turns the book took. Carmen's character was the face of so many young African American girls and women today. She carried so many secrets and so much on her shoulders that she never really got the chance to be Carmen. This book is a great read along with "God Don't Like Ugly". I must admit this author has a talent for writing and making her readers involve themselves in her characters. This book gets a thumbs up from me! Can't wait until the next one. Best of luck Mary Monroe!!!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2003
I loved this book and I couldn't put it down. I was mad at first because I wanted Carmen and Chester to get together but couldn't imagine why she would choose to be unhappy for the rest of her life. I am awaiting the sequel to this one. I would love to know what became of the Carmen, Chester and the baby. I read this book in two days. I've read God Don't Like Ugly and was mad in that book because of the secrets but enjoyed it as well. Mary Monroe is an excellent writer and I've recommended this book to all my friends.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Customers who viewed this also viewed
She Had It Coming
She Had It Coming by Mary Monroe (Mass Market Paperback - April 1, 2014)

God Ain't Through Yet
God Ain't Through Yet by Mary Monroe (Mass Market Paperback - March 31, 2015)

God Ain't Blind
God Ain't Blind by Mary Monroe (Mass Market Paperback - September 2, 2014)

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.