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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Drama, Drama, Drama...
Drama, Drama, Drama, that's how I describe the story line in P.G. County by Connie Briscoe. If you happen to like drama in your life, this is the book for you. From the opening page to its abrupt conclusion, this novel is packed with scandal, infidelity and betrayal, all of the classic elements of a daytime soap opera but rarely seen as expertly crafted in black...
Published on September 20, 2002 by M.C. Beamon

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Neighborhood Full of Drama
I read the books out of order. I read the sequel "Cant Get Enough" first. I must admit "Can't Get Enough" is much better.

Barbara Bently is married to the worse kind of philanderer, Bradford Bentley. He can't seem to keep his extra marital affairs a secret. He doesn't seem to care how his affairs have embarrassed Barbara and their daughters. They are one...
Published on August 26, 2006 by Tiffany


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Drama, Drama, Drama..., September 20, 2002
By 
M.C. Beamon (Scarsdale, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: P. G. County (Hardcover)
Drama, Drama, Drama, that's how I describe the story line in P.G. County by Connie Briscoe. If you happen to like drama in your life, this is the book for you. From the opening page to its abrupt conclusion, this novel is packed with scandal, infidelity and betrayal, all of the classic elements of a daytime soap opera but rarely seen as expertly crafted in black fiction.
For these women, Lee, Barbara, Jolene, Pearl and Candice, their problems resolve around race and money. Interracial dating and interrace disputes are as much characters in this novel as the women themselves. I, too found these topics interesting enough for a novel, so I covered them in my book, Dark Recesses. In P.G. County, however, racial identity and acceptance are just a backdrop to the core troublemaker, money.
As the quote goes, "when money is seen as a solution for every problem, money itself becomes the problem," by Richard Needham. From the enormous house, elaborate weddings, and expensive shopping tastes, the women in P.G. County raise excess to new heights. For most of the women in this story, money is used to console them, rather than working on resolving the relationship and self-identity issues they have. One of the relationships on the brink of ruin from the beginning of the story is Barbara and Bradford's.
At times, the reader is led to hope for the couple believing the adage, "a successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person," by Mignon McLaughlin. When Bradford makes an effort to rekindle his love with his wife, you almost believe their marriage and lives will turn around, but that wouldn't make a good soap opera, now would it?
Mary J. Blige recently had a hit song called, "No More Drama," with the Young & the Restless Soap Opera music playing in the background. If you're like me and have enough drama in your life, so you're trying to follow Ms. Blige's example, than I would stray away from this episode of "Days of Our Black Lives." But, if you want some mindless fun, then travel on down to P.G. County and meet five ladies that will make you hope your friends are different and grateful if they are.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Neighborhood Full of Drama, August 26, 2006
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This review is from: P. G. County (Hardcover)
I read the books out of order. I read the sequel "Cant Get Enough" first. I must admit "Can't Get Enough" is much better.

Barbara Bently is married to the worse kind of philanderer, Bradford Bentley. He can't seem to keep his extra marital affairs a secret. He doesn't seem to care how his affairs have embarrassed Barbara and their daughters. They are one of the wealthiest couples in the neighborhood. It's evident that money isn't the root of happiness but is (in the book) the root of all evil. After many years of marriage and dealing with his extra marital affairs, she still sticks around.

Jolene is a very materialistic home-wrecker who is trying very hard to pretend to live a certain lifestyle just to impress her neighbors and family (mother and father). She doesn't care who she hurts, including her loving husband Patrick, to get what she wants. Jolene wants wealthy social elite. It doesn't matter who he is, just as long as he's rich and can afford the lavish lifestyle that she wants to have. In desperation, she tries to lure Bradford Bently in. She throws a huge house-warming party at her new million dollar home to impress her neighbors. She wants this party to be the party that everyone will remember and talk about for months. IT WILL BE!!!! All the things that she has done in the dark will come to light at this party.

Pearl is the single mother and awesome cook/baker who own a beauty shop. She isn't comfortable with her son, Kenyatta, dating out side of his race. After a lot of convincing she tries to accept Kenyatta's girlfriend (Candice's daughter) but still isn't comfortable with their relationship. Patrick (Jolene's husband) is helping with a political campaign and decides to ask Pearl to bake one of her famous cakes for the campaign celebration. The attraction between the two of them is too strong to ignore.

Candice is a mother of two teenage girls. One of her daughters is dating Pearl's son, Kenyatta. Candice has problems with her daughter dating outside their race. She soon realizes and appears traumatized to know that she and Kenyatta aren't much different at all.

I am a life long Marylander and am very familiar with P.G. County. The book was entertaining. I must agree with some of the other reviews, the ending was rather rushed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the Best I Have Ever Read, March 5, 2006
This review is from: P. G. County (Hardcover)
Initially I got into the book and began to enjoy it. HOwever, my stomach and enjoyment of the book began to take a serious nosedive as the character of Candice began to be revealed. All enjoyment of the storyline was removed once Candice found out one of her ancestors was black. The fact that she suddenly considered herself to be a black woman was beyond comprehension. I cannot fathom what Briscoe was doing in writing such a thing or where she felt that this was going. It is one thing to acknowledge that there was once a one drop rule, but to take it to this extent in a book written by a black woman no less was pretty disconcerting. Perhaps there is something deeper here that I am missing. I really hope so. Overall I would say the book was lacking in depth. It is one of those books that you might take along on vacation when you know you want something light to read, but not something heavy that is going to require lots of thought and analysis. Perhaps others will enjoy the soap opera style writing, but I did not.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sex in the Suburbs oh MY!, September 22, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: P. G. County (Hardcover)
Excellent! Bravo! Well worth the wait for Connie Briscoe's return. With the introduction of the Bentley's(aptly titled) Jolene, Patrick, Candace(who really added nothing to the story), Lee, and Pearl, we are introduced to P. G. County, an affluent all Black suburb. The characters were lost in status and power measuring themselves against the stick of the Joneses...whose got the biggest Mercedes, the biggest house, and the best husband. It was a fast intriguing ride. This book comes with a guarantee that there is something for everyone in this story. ENJOY!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars You Have got to be Kidding!!!, December 2, 2002
This review is from: P. G. County (Hardcover)
I read a few of the comments before I set out to write my own, I see most people were like me in thinking...girlfriend must have needed to pay some bills with this one.
You have got to be kidding me, a brother who wears dreadlocks, mother works in a majority black beauty shop come into his house, finds his, let me say this again,his black mother kissing a man and he says "she was necking" stop it, just stop the madness. What brother ya'll know calls kissing necking. (let me know)
and let's not forget the white woman who finds out that her great great great grandfather was passing now, her mom and dad are both white, the father is a red neck kkk member (she didn't mention it in the book but you can tell), and she's tripping because she finds out she is black!!!!! Yo girl friend was tripping, you ain't black you are a white, white woman. "stop calling her that she's black" the woman yells. Not even! You can go to Barnes and Noble just to read that part of the book but I repeat just to read this part.
I admire people who take the time to perfect their craft, I myself would like to enjoy the comments my reader will make when I write my first novel. However, If I ever write a book like this ya'll better holla at me. Pull my coat tails. do something to stop me.
I read Big Girls Don't Cry and was won over. I read this book and could'nt wait to call my friend all the way in Chicago and tell her not to buy, or even read this book. (I live in New York)
Come on Connie this book was like reading a Danielle Steel book and saying I will never do that again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment, June 27, 2005
This review is from: P.G. County (Paperback)
I was very disappointed in this book. First of all, too much time was spent writing about people/things that you would never hear about again after the first few chapters (i.e. Terrence, Sabrina, Rebecca, etc.). Granted the author was setting the scene, but this book was not worth it. I couldn't relate to the characters in any way except for Pearl and Patrick. They seemed like the only normal and down to earth characters written. This book is an example of how the highest people up (even African Americans) have more problems/self esteem issues than people who don't live lavish lives. Barbara Bentley, an extremely passive woman when it came to her husband Bradford "The Rich Dog" Bentley, as I call him. There is no way I would have allowed him to continue to do the things that he did. Please don't say that she stayed for the money because as much dirt that she had on Bradford, she would have ended up with the house, a car, a resort/vacation home, and spousal or alimony support all at the voluntary expense of Bradford just to avoid humility. Jolene was a straight up you know what! This is a woman who would go to great lengths to live the life she never had, so she thought. Let me run across a man like Patrick, and he wouldn't have even thought about looking at Pearl. Although I did like that they hooked up, so I think.

This book was so open ended that you don't know what happened to whom. It better be a sequel to this book, but unfortunately I not that interested in reading it.

The only reason I read this was for a book club meeting. Being as though I live in P.G. County, it made me questions the author's motive. To me the book was written from a condescending point of view of people who live in P.G. County a.k.a. "inside the beltway" as she would put it. It's funny because even people who live in P.G. County don't refer to it in those terms, but then again maybe they do just not from the outside of the gated communities.

** A note to all readers...This is a message from the avid readers association, DO NOT waste your time, unless you have time to kill and a book with no ending!**
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Um, where's the rest of it??, May 25, 2004
This review is from: P. G. County (Hardcover)
Where's the other dimension of these two-dimensional characters?? Where's the rest of the book? It ended so abruptly. Where's the logic behind the actions of these people?

As you can see, I did not enjoy this book. Connie Briscoe truly dropped the ball with this one. The only reason I had for reading it was that I reside in PG County. Have for my entire 22 years. I found the characters in this book to be horrible representations of the people here. Yes, I know, it's a book meant for entertainment, but come on! I've noticed that a few reviewers live in the County with me, so I know I do not have this opinion on my own.

1.Every single woman in this book had serious self-esteem issues: 1)Barbara--staying with a man that cheated on her repeatedly, 2)Jolene--money grubber...adulterer...skank, shall I go on? Cheated on her husband with 2 men (1 was Barb's hub) and felt that a man was only worth something if he had $$. What type of example was she setting for her young daughter? 3)Candice--main Caucasian woman in the book. Disturbed that her daughter, Ashley, whom she has encouraged to accept people regardless of race, status, etc, is dating a black man. 4)Pearl--disturbed that her son is dating the said white daughter. By far, the most racist person in the book as far as I was concerned. 5)Lee--some random character that popped up every five chapters or more. Added nothing to the book except for a overly dramatic ending.

This book did nothing for me. Pearl and Candice's resistance to their children dating was ridiculous. Somehow though, when Candice found out she was black (according to the ridiculous 1 drop rule), their relationship is all of a sudden something that is accepted! And what was the purpose of pointing that out to Lee? No sense at all. Lee's popping up added ZIP, NIL, NADA to the story!

I could write more, but I really don't feel like it. Do like I did. Buy this book for no more than $1.50. Or rent it from the library.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different, but a good read......., December 4, 2002
By 
This review is from: P. G. County (Hardcover)
I have read all the other reviews that were listed here and I must say I agree with those who enjoyed the book. Was it different from all the others Connie wrote? Yes, but it was still a good book. I know we all like to read about the urban life and the "hood", but it is sometimes good to get away from all that and see our people in a different light. We are not only limited to living in the projects and the Ghetto. I think this book did a wonderful job at exploring the different aspects of us black folks. I also like how the author not only portrayed these characters as "ghetto fab" but make it certain to show her readers that problems and drama still arises no matter where your economic level may lay or the color of your skin. Truth be known I thought this was a very enjoyable book(and don't get me wrong I love my the coldest winter ever's, true to the Games, Friend & lovers.. just to name a few) but I thought this book was a great change, by far did it not take you out of character for blacks folks, I think the setting was just different. If you want have a few laughs,& to say a few curse words... I say read this book, its worth it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bad Actors Reading a Lousy Script, July 24, 2006
By 
Gregory Bascom (San Jose Costa Rica) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: P.G. County (Paperback)
This review is for the One World Paperback edition, September 2003, 324 pages. Two novels by Connie Briscoe, SISTERS & LOVERS (1995) and BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY (1996), made the USA Today top 150 best selling list, peaking at position 20 and 85, respectively. P.G. COUNTY however, didn't make it.

P.G. COUNTY is set in Silver Lake, Maryland, a wealthy, predominately black community. The story is about blatant materialism, single women raising children from philandering ex-husbands, the "one drop rule," torrid extramarital affairs and a redeemed hooker. Racy issues perhaps, but the plot and subplots, as delivered, are plastic and stereotyped.

The writing in P.G. COUNTY is disappointing - very long on tell and skimpy on show. The author describes what her characters are thinking and feeling rather than let them speak and act for themselves. When they do speak, except for the young adult slang, the dialogue is stiff and lifeless. Even in scenes of high emotion, the author has to tell us how her characters feel because they speak like bad actors reading a lousy script.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Connie, Connie, Connie, January 29, 2003
By 
Alma Simmons (Detroit, MI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: P. G. County (Hardcover)
P.G. County initially engaged me -- I was looking for a quick read, nothing too heavy. About two-thirds of the way into the book, I was disappointed, but still hooked by Jolene's antics, so I pushed on! The Candice and Lee storylines added little to the story and the conclusion seemed abrupt. I'm glad I checked this book out from the library rather than purchasing it. Jolene was too funny, so one dimensional, but I couldn't stop laughing at her antics to get the right man, the right house, the right life. I'd recommend this as a read only when someone has exhausted all of the "must reads" stacked on the your home bookshelves -- or if you stumble across it at your public library!! Don't buy it!!
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P. G. County
P. G. County by Connie Briscoe
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