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Seen It All and Done the Rest: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Pearl Cleage
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.00
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $6.01 (43%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

For Josephine Evans, home was on the stages of the world where she spent thirty years establishing herself as one of the finest actresses of her generation. Josephine was the toast of Europe, and her fabulous apartment in Amsterdam’s theater district was a popular gathering place for an international community of artists, actors, and expatriates who considered themselves true citizens of the world. Josephine lived above and beyond the reach of conventional definitions of who and what an African American diva could be, and her legions of loyal fans loved her for it. She had a perfect life and enough sense to live it to the hilt, but then a war she didn’t fully understand turned everything upside down, thrusting her into a role she never wanted and was not prepared to play. Suddenly the target of angry protests aimed at the country she had never really felt was her own, Josephine is forced to return to America to see if she can create a new definition of home.

Camping out with her granddaughter, Zora, who is housesitting in Atlanta’s West End; and trying to avoid the unwanted attentions of Dig It!, the city’s brand-new gossip magazine, Josephine struggles to reclaim her old life even as she scrambles to shape her new one. Hoping her friend Howard Denmond is as good as his word when he promises to engineer her triumphant return to the European stage, Josephine sets out to increase her nest egg by selling the house her mother willed her, only to find the long-neglected property has become home to squatters who have no intention of leaving.

But an unexpected reunion with an old friend offers Josephine a chance to set things right. Spurning an offer from unscrupulous land developer Greer Woodruff, Josephine gathers new friends around her, including Victor Causey, a lawyer whose addictions left him homeless but still determined to protect his mother; Louie Baptiste, a displaced New Orleans chef hoping to return to the city he loves; and Aretha Hargrove, recovering from her role in the same scandal that sent Zora running for cover. As Greer gets serious about her plan to tear the community apart, Josephine finds herself playing the most important role of her life, showing her neighbors what courage really is and learning the true meaning of coming home.


From the Hardcover edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This jaunty but topical coming-of-middle-age story from Cleage (Baby Brother's Blues) opens with an indignant argument about American culpability in the Iraq war, as African-American actress Josephine Evans—a self-proclaimed Las Vegas of grandmothers living and working in Amsterdam—has just been fired from a theater production, ostensibly for being too American. She returns to Atlanta to spend time with her granddaughter Zora, recently undone by her peripheral role in a splashy murder case, and to check on her family house. Josephine is hoping to keep Zora's trust while steering her away from Zora's father's tragic bout with alcohol. After seeing the cracked-out wreckage of her stretch of Atlanta's West End, Josephine also embarks on a plan with four other women to fix up her vandalized manse, a plan that includes the squatter she discovers there, Victor Causey. The plot is predictable but satisfying, and Josephine's voice comes through movingly throughout. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Praise for Pearl Cleage’s Baby Brother’s Blues

“An irresistible story filled with fun, sexy, interesting characters . . . [Cleage is] at the top of her form.”
–Essence

“Exciting, fast-moving . . . reads like an African American, Southern version of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City . . . The stories intersect, spawning misunderstandings, deceptions, betrayals, broken promises and double crosses. It’s all great fun.”
–The Washington Post

“All these lives and stories overlap and collide with seamless efficiency in Cleage’s fluid, poetic prose.”
–Chicago Sun-Times

“Thought-provoking and powerful . . . an intricate tale of politics, blackmail, and murder . . . Cleage proves that she has mastered the art of the written word.”
–Urban Reviews

“Cleage’s descriptions are lively, her dialogue snappy, and the problems she describes are urgent and timely.”
–Deseret Morning News

“The reader is engrossed to the end.”
–Booklist


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 336 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345481127
  • Publisher: One World/Ballantine; 1 edition (March 18, 2008)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0010SKSXA
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #404,957 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seen It, Done It, Loved It! March 25, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Seen It All and Done the Rest by Pearl Cleage is a mature, reading
delight. Grande Dame Josephine Evans has been the toast of
Amsterdam's theatre circuit for over twenty years. Aging gracefully,
at fifty-eight, her life could not be better or so it would seem.
However, Josephine discovers that it is not so hip to be an American
overseas any longer and that being American is having an effect on
her career. After all these years, she finds herself without a
contract and limited funds. So what is a woman to do? She can always
go home, she does have a niece, Zora, at home in Atlanta and a house
that has been bringing in an income for years. So surely Atlanta and
Zora will be waiting with open arms, or will they?

Zora is a smart, educated young woman who has always been the apple
of her grandmother's eyes. Her father drank himself to death at an
early age but her grandmother was always there. However, as a grown
woman, Zora finds herself in the middle of a controversy, involving
the death of a prominent citizen and she has become fodder for a
local tabloid, Dig It! The notoriety causes Zora to drop out of
college and hole-up in a luxury house in West End, with her favorite
companion, a glass of vodka. When her grandmother informs Zora of her
return, she is not as excited as she once would have been.

Jospehine's return home is filled with pain, love and laughter. She
reconnects with friends while discovering what has been going on in
the life of her granddaughter. She also discovers that change occurs
whether one is there to see it or not. I absolutely loved meeting
these characters and getting to know them.
Read more ›
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By Nan-C
Format:Audio CD
Bravo to Robin Miles for being blessed with such a talented voice that is the icing to a truly made from scratch pound cake story (have mercy). Pearl Cleage's novel Seen It All and Done the Rest is filled with laughter, love, tears and victories of ex-patriot diva, Josephine Evans that returns to the states because of her artistic differences in Amsterdam. Evans returns to Atlanta, to her granddaughter Zora who needs the arms, wisdom and spirit of her grandmother in order to heal from a scandalous year of being the star of tabloid news. While home, Josephine checks on her rental property; the duplex that she and her mother lived in. Her mother left the house to Josephine and she kept it as part of Zora's inheritance. Josephine discovers that the house has been vandalized and is now being squatted. The healing begins through Josephine and her crew of righteous people to take back the house and the community in order to stop it from getting torn down by greedy realtor, Greer Woodruff (the wicked witch of the South). Pearl Cleage's array of homeless yet hopeful characters have all found each other and are now setting a path to heal from addiction, Katrina, home invasion and tabloid scandals. They represent so many throughout this country that still call this home that love the essence but not the leaders and know they have a right to be free.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Pearl! April 3, 2008
Format:Hardcover
For those who know Pearl Cleage's books, this one is classic: A witty, smart, GROWN UP narrator I'd follow to the ends of the earth. Social issues that affect black folks and ALL folks (this one even brings in Europe in a fun way). Mothers, daughters, grandmothers, sister-friends and all manner of important relationships. A love of language. And a gripping story. For those who don't know Pearl Cleage's books: get to reading! You'll be very glad you did!Orange Mint and Honey: A Novel
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Seen It All and Done the Rest November 22, 2008
Format:Hardcover
This book was a little too slow for me. Started off good but went flat.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Never Give Up May 6, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this work, but not as much as the previous ones by author, Pearl Cleage. I felt it was a little bit too predictable for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Josephine the Queen rides in November 10, 2009
Format:Paperback
"Seen It All and Done the Rest" was a great read. Its main character is a full of life actress in her 50s who comes across stumbling blocks in her career in overseas because she is American. While taking time out to check on her granddaughter and property she stumbles across much more. Along her way she finds an old friend and many new ones, she also makes an enemy or two. The heroine in this story is not at all the typical grandmother but still traditional and cultured. From the imagery I got to see Amsterdam, the different areas of Atlanta and New Orleans with my mind's eye.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pearl Cleage April 19, 2008
Format:Hardcover
I have always been a big Pearl Cleage fan and this book (Seen It all and Done the Rest) has justified all of my ravings about her writing. She has done it again! I loved that the shero in this book was a woman of a certain age and that she was also computer illiterate. Josephine Evans, for all of her diva like qualities is just like so many of our mothers and grandomthers; afraid of the internet, has a cell phone she leaves at home and is a loving grandmother.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a nice ending to the trilogy of this family November 25, 2009
By dreamer
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ms. Cleage did a fine job pulling everyone together and concluding the triology of Blue Hamilton and the crew in ATL.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Preachy at times
I really liked What Looks Like Crazy so i decided to read more of Ms. Cleage's work. Some Things I Thought I'd Never Do was pushing the reality envelope but it was enjoyable. Read more
Published 12 days ago by DeeMarie
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars
I loved this book! 4.5 stars. Josephine Evans is an acclaimed actress living and performing in Amsterdam. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
we discussed in book club, a lot of unanswered questions...where was the mother? what happen when the grandmother doesn't return to europe...many more
Published 12 months ago by Ni the reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Pearl Cleage never disappoints!!!! She is MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE Author! I just love the way she writes! Read more
Published 13 months ago by Carita Johnson
2.0 out of 5 stars Passed the Time
It was a nice story but didn't really catch or hold me. I finished the book because I was stuck in a hotel room for the weekend. I so totally did not like the ending. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Antrah
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Women United
I love Pearl Cleage and this book reminds me why. Beautifully written story that all should read. It reminds me not to give up 5mins before I receive my blessing and don't let... Read more
Published 14 months ago by M.D.G
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm a fan (robyn-reviews.blogspot.com)
Like any black woman who reads fiction, I'm willing to put my money on an Oprah Book Club selection. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Robyn LaShun
5.0 out of 5 stars Avid Cleage Reader
As always Cleage hit a home run. I like the way she pulls us into the story and tugs at our heart strings. Read more
Published on September 3, 2011 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars You will not put this one down!!!!
You are drawn in from the very first page of this book. The story is so live and exciting you will not put it down. Read more
Published on February 3, 2010 by Barbara J. Ross
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!!
This is my 3rd novel by Pearl Cleage and I can't wait to read more. I finished this one in one day - just couldn't pull myself away.
Published on June 8, 2009 by Jeane Rhodes
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