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Here And Now Hardcover – October 1, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Fate deals sisters Marcella and Raquel completely different lives in Kimberla Lawson Roby's Here and Now. Determined to give her children a better life, Marcella struggles to find financial stability without the aid of her unreliable ex-husband, Tyrone. When she stretches herself too thin between her job and full-time college classes, Marcella refuses to question her decision despite the negative effects it's having on her children. The promise of her new romance with a medical student named Darryl, and the support of her family encourage her to continue. But when Tyrone threatens to withhold his meager support, Marcella feels her careful balance starting to topple--sending her into a cycle of anger and aggression with Tyrone that threatens her own health as well as her relationship with Darryl.

Sister Raquel has the unconditional love and support of her husband, Kevin, yet she aches to have a child of her own. After years of fruitless efforts, Kevin is willing to consider fertility treatment or adoption, but Raquel refuses to give up on natural methods, and swears they need just one more chance. Her blind lack of realism starts to wear on Kevin, and their relationship begins to fray. When Raquel finally agrees to treatment, their marriage is subsumed by the effort, and they lose sight of each other. A pregnancy brings renewed hope, but have they already lost each other? Here and Now offers a poignant story of two women struggling to define their future and learning to value the present. Mundane details and an unexpected dream sequence may frustrate readers, but the appeal of Roby's strong characters and realistic issues outweigh any faults the book may have, making this an enjoyable and thought-provoking read. --Nancy R.E. O'Brien

From Publishers Weekly

The soap operatic plot of Kimberla Lawson Roby's second novel (Behind Closed Doors) revolves around the lives of two African-American sisters, Marcella and Racquel. Teacher Racquel threatens the stability of her four-year marriage with her determination to conceive a child. She is both critical and jealous of Marcella, who married immediately after high school to legitimize her baby. Marcella's situation is hardly enviable, though, as she struggles on minimum wage and scant child support to raise two children in a suburban Chicago project. Racquel and her husband mortgage their house to pay for infertility treatments, while Marcella decides to go to college with hopes of becoming a CPA. Untidy human dilemmas (i.e., Marcella's discovery of her 13-year-old daughter's diary with its innocent revelations of her budding sexuality) backlight the sisters' larger struggles with marriage, money, sex and family bonds. Each chapter ends in a crescendo of melodrama, emphasized by a chorus of slamming telephones and doors, and a proliferation of unusual deaths. Though the novel provides a window on a distinctive segment of American society, its breezy, colloquial vocabulary and propensity for hype and stereotype satisfy as little as a couch-potato's snack. Doubleday Book Club featured alternate; author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington; First Edition edition (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1575663368
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575663364
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #320,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kimberla Lawson Roby is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the popular Reverend Curtis Black Series. Those titles include: The Prodigal Son, A House Divided, The Reverend's Wife, Love, Honor, & Betray, Be Careful What You Pray For, The Best of Everything, Sin No More, Love & Lies, The Best-Kept Secret, Too Much of A Good Thing, and Casting the First Stone. Kimberla also has 10 standalone titles: A Christmas Prayer, The Perfect Marriage, Secret Obsession, A Deep Dark Secret, One in A Million, Changing Faces, A Taste of Reality, It's a Thin Line, Here & Now, and Behind Closed Doors. She lives with her husband in Rockford, Illinois. Web Site: kimroby.com, Facebook: facebook.com/kimberlalawsonroby, Twitter: twitter.com/KimberlaLRoby

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Simmons on July 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I read Roby's other books, Behind Closed Doors and Casting the First Stone, before reading this one. I liked the other two books a lot, so I figured I'd enjoy Here and Now as well. Boy, was I wrong. This book was just WAY too depressing, it was just tragic events piled on top of tragic events. I know Roby was striving to teach the lesson of not thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, but this was a bit much. Although we do finally get to see some type of light at the end of a very long tunnel, Lawson spent way too much time depressing us with the painful details of these women's lives, and then gave a very poorly-thrown-together happy ending, with everyone having learned their lesson. I was not impressed with Lawson's storytelling in this book, but she does have an impressive writing style, and I will read future books by this author.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tanya on December 31, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Kimberla, I read "Behind Closed Doors" and love it so I knew I would love "Here and Now". I found myself crying and cheering for the characters in this book. I read the book so fast I had to re-read it and enjoyed it more the second time around.
I felt as if Kimberla was writing about my life through some of these pages. I found myself talking to Racquel and telling her to think about what she was putting her husband through and stop before she loose him.
Marcella was very strong and I gave her credit for trying to give her children a better life. I found it very encouraging that she went back to school. That was a big plus.
Once again I loved this book from cover to cover. Kimberla, I've already put my order in for "Casting the First Stone". I can't wait to start reading your 3rd novel. I wish you much success. Keep them coming girl. Be Blessed!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By angela powers on March 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
Kimberly I feel like I've been knowing you for years. I read all your books in a matter of hours rather than days and weeks. I can hardly put them down. Where do I begin. Marcella, Marcella, Marcella. She learned a lot of things the hard way, but that's not the point. The point is she learned them. I applaud this particular character. She went though sooooooooo very much. I can relate to her. At one point I felt overwhelmed with her going through so much. I had to put the book down and pray. I felt a great amount of fear rose up in me. My heart went out to her. I had to remind myself that it was just a book. I've gone through a lot of things in my life and just like Marcella it was by the Grace of God I Made it. I'm so very glad she had a friend. Somebody who listen to her without judging her. Rachel I begin to pray for her myself, because she was truly obsessed with having a baby. I want a baby too, but I'm like her husband, lovemaking became more like a routine chore, rather than a beautiful, intimate time that a couple shared. I wish that when I get married, my husband have some of the character her husband had (committed to the marrieage, to her, to the family, understand, communicative, romantic, sexy, independent, dependant, loyal and fun to be around.) And Tyrone, that lowdown dogsnake at least he was good for something. I was at least glad he had since enough to have insurance. I don't know how I would have handled my teenage daughter doing what she did. I don't know what's worse; reading the diary or having to confront her about it. I simply could not believe it. After reading that passage I began to survey my own friends who have teenage children to see what they would have done. No one knew. But it makes you think.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "addicted-to-books" on January 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Here and Now Not your typical story......Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy February 16, 1999 Roby has written a novel in the tradition of strong black women raising children with the support of family and friends. However she has mixed just the right amount of fantasy with TRUE REALITY. The women in this book are typical of us all. Each character thinks the other should be greatful for her blessings. It is the epitome of "the grass is greener in someone elses yard". The person with the wonderful husband wants wonderful children, the person with a wonderful pair of children wants a great job and the one with the great job want to be a part of a family. While each of people is wishing for something better for themselves they are always looking out for one another. A page turner and you never get what you were expecting.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Circle of Friends Book Club-Charlotte, NC Chapter on December 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
When reading a novel I look for four common themes- Reality, Comedy, Tragedy and Triumphs. This novel reflects these four emotions, making it a 4 star pick. The story focuses on two sisters Marcella and Raquel, whom like many other siblings believe their lives, would be so much happier if it mirrored the other sister's. Very similar to the anecdote; Be careful what you wish for, both sisters experience unexpected tragedy in their lives, which leads them back to each other, and the reality is; The grass may not always be greener on the other side. I truly enjoyed the novel and would recommend it to others.
Reviewed by Ronisha E. Wood
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Bradshaw on January 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Kimberla Roby, you go girl! I couldn't put this book down. How did you do it? Here and Now was definitely a true read. Marcella and Racquel's situation were soooo real. This was a definite tear jerker. I cried. I laughed. I yelled. I screamed. I rejoiced. I got mad. I did it all. I could relate to some of the issues in the book. I was surprised with what happened to both Sharon and Nicholas. You outdid yourself with this book. I thought Behind Closed Doors was great. I don't know what else to say. I can't wait to read Casting the First Stone. Keep um coming!
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