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In My Father's House: A Novel Hardcover – June 22, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1 edition (June 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312541910
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312541910
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #951,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Before he died last year, Harris wrote this bangup first installment to a projected series about a bisexual owner of a Miami modeling agency. Bentley L. Dean III runs the Picture Perfect modeling agency in South Beach. His father, a homophobic Detroit millionaire, disowned him after he broke off an engagement and had an affair with a male TV sports reporter, and though the agency's been a success, the recession has taken a big bite out of Bentley's business. Strapped for cash, he reluctantly agrees to supply gay, bi or very open-minded eye candy for a VIP party hosted by Prosperity Gentleman's Club, which is run by Emperor Seth Sinclair, a closeted gay celebrity. When Jah, an 18-year-old student Bentley's been mentoring, covers for a no-show model and begins an affair with Seth, big trouble looms. Harris's wry tale about second chances highlights what readers have long loved about his work: his ability to depict the pursuit of love and self-respect, regardless of societal and family pressures. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Bentley L. Dean III is heir to a financial empire. He is all set to marry a woman of equal pedigree when plans go awry: Bentley reveals his gay identity to his father, who then disowns him with just four words, “Not in my house.” Bentley moves to exotic South Beach, Florida, and sets up an elite modeling agency that attracts the best local male and female talent. An elusive Hollywood insider contracts the agency to provide eye candy for an exclusive party. At the event, Bentley's protégé, an impressionable college student named Jah, meets the host of the evening, African American movie star Seth Sinclair, and is eventually lured into an abusive down-low relationship with Sinclair. While Bentley is trying to save Jah, Bentley's father suffers a life-threatening heart attack, which brings father and son toward repairing their broken relationship. With Bentley back in his father's good graces, he is able to focus his resources to find and rescue Jah, but not without dangerous outcomes looming ahead. This decent-read posthumous work is subtitled The Chronicles of Bentley L. Dean, suggesting an intended series. --Vanessa Irvin Morris

More About the Author

E. Lynn Harris (1955-2009) is the author of ten previous novels and the memoir What Becomes of the Brokenhearted. His recent novels Just Too Good to be True, I Say a Little Prayer, A Love of My Own, and Any Way the Wind Blows hit the bestseller lists in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other publications. He founded the E. Lynn Harris Better Days Foundation, a nonprofit company that provides support to aspiring writers and artists.

Customer Reviews

I love his writing style, it is very fluid and he tells a great story.
Marcel Emerson
He waste most of his time chasing after someone who really does not feel the same, and chastising others, on many things he is doing himself.
PRIME_EX
The main character, Bentley Dean III just seemed so whiny to me and the story line felt rushed and forced.
Book 'Em Danno

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By BMAR on June 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"In My Father's House" was to be the first in a new series by author E. Lynn Harris. In this novel he introduces Bentley Dean, Miami resident and owner of a modeling agency. A former resident of Detroit, and in fact nearly Detroit royalty, Bentley left Detroit and his father behind when he broke a family-approved engagement to live life with his male partner. This decision left Bentley estranged from his family and still struggling to build the life and success his wants.

Having reconstructed a family of his own based on business partners and friends, Bentley is struggling to make a go of his business due to the recession and his love life due to a man who is not as ready to live life openly gay as is Bentley. The struggles he is facing cause him to make some tough decisions - both financially and personally. The book follows his life during these life-altering decisions that bring both promises of success and danger to Bentley.

I suspect that in some ways, E. Lynn Harris may have still be fine tuning the novel before his death, yet it is a satisfying story in many ways. Unfortunately as it was planned as the first in a series it ends in a less that satisfying cliff hanger and almost abruptly.

That aside, I mourned the loss of this genre-changing authors as I read this, presumably his last novel
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tazzyt2bossye VINE VOICE on May 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Bentley L. Dean III abandoned his life of wealth after being ostracized for his same sex preference. He and best friend Alexandria established an up and coming legitimate modeling agency. A lucrative business proposal glistens in its presentation to Bentley although his intuition tells him that this request poses a dark and dangerous threat to his health as well as his business. The business venture requires gorgeous gay friendly models that have to sign a disclosure promising to never tell who or what happens at this party with big name celebrities attending. Jahron Anthony Borden is a young gay man that Bentley's welcomed into his world as a brother and tries to steer him from the evils of the world. All the while Bentley's yearns for his father's love and to be welcomed back into the fold.

E. Lynn Harris' latest literary project is as fulfilling as his previous works. He dares to tackle the subject of homosexuality by portraying it in a fashion that is discreet, truthful, as well as dignified. Young Bentley chose to live his life without apology and separated himself from his family and their wealth, was it really worth it? Is true love truly an option for a `gay' man when so many wants the fruits as long as it's behind closed doors? How real is the danger that lurks in the shadows? Will Bentley's intentions be enough to shield young Jah from the evils that await him and his sexual preference? Will Bentley humble himself and chose his father's love over the love of the clandestine lifestyle? Or will Bentley's father release his biased opinion and accept his son as is before it's too late? In My Father's House, Mr. Harris depicts choices, reactions, misery, love, hate, cruelty, callousness, prejudices, disgrace, perseverance, faith, death, and courage. Mr.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By AndreaDenise VINE VOICE on May 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I happen to have cherished reading E. Lynn's latest, In My Father's House. It's parallel to a modern day, African-American soap opera.

Former model, Bentley L. Dean is the proud owner of a modeling agency in the luxurious South Beach area. Due to the economy, business has stalled. Bentley is then approached by Sterling Seed, who's in dire need for male models for his wealthy client's party.

Bentley's dream of revitalizing his agency has him walking on air until he learns that his impressionable pal, Jah, has naively fell in love with Seth Sinclair, the most powerful African-American in Hollywood.

As business begins to escalate, Bentley realizes that he's doing business with the devil. In My Father's House is filled with unsavory and sickening characters and loads of suspense. In truth, I'm deeming it my favorite E. Lynn Harris read.

Favorite Character(s): Bentley (I loved his fatherly treatment of Jah)

Least Favorite Character(s): Seth Sinclair (closet, married gay men infuriate me)

What did you enjoy about the book? I loved that it rivaled a soap opera.

What didn't you enjoy about the book? The ending was shocking and a bit disheartening. I truly wanted to witness the destruction of Seth Sinclair.

Final rating: 4 / 5 stars
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Antoine D. Reid VINE VOICE on May 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I know some will jump on my review because I've given it just two stars and because it's E. Lynn Harris' last book due to his death but I have to say this was one mess of a book. The description of the book gives the impression that this book will be about a black man dealing with his sexuality which creates tension and conflict between him and his father. That's even the impression you get from the title of the book alone. In actuality, the main character's daddy issues is reduced to a subplot. The description of the book even makes it seem like this may be a book about 'down-low' culture with the main character, Bentley, being caught between his love for a woman and a man. Well, that plot alone is wrapped-up in the prologue. What this book's really about: Bentley comes from a life of privilege and money. He realizes he's not straight, accepts it, his father seemingly disowns him. He moves to Miami to make a life for himself and doesn't want any help from his father. His desire to make it on his own leads him to a business deal that lands him and people in his life in a curious, dangerous situation. The plot is a lot like 'Showgirls'and 'Noah's Arc' meets 'America's Next Top Model' except it features mainly black men, lots of sex, and little plot. I guess on that last note, it's a lot like 'Next Top Model'.

The Good: As with most E. Lynn Harris work, the best thing about the book is that it's written with a gay African-American reader in mind. The main character is black, his family is of course black, the guys he encounters are black and the language of the book is really ... black. I don't think this book was written for women or people outside of the African-American community.
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