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When Love Calls, You Better Answer [Kindle Edition]

Bertice Berry
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $7.99
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

The author of the hit Redemption Song returns with a sparkling new novel about looking for love in all the wrong places—and with all the wrong people.

Full of spirit and wisdom, the novels of Bertice Berry bring to life a rich tapestry of human experience. Now she turns her eye to matters of the heart, with an endearing main character who can’t seem to keep bad men out of her life.

Bernita Brown is a quick-thinking, tireless social worker who is good at practically everything—except love. Her first marriage ends in divorce, a painful experience Bernita refuses to think about. Instead, she dives into a series of sad relationships and overwhelming commitments to community and church. But not even church can keep her from being courted by dogs; Bernita’s married pastor begins making passes at her, then blames her for his backsliding. Along the way, the ghost of Bernita’s aunt Babe weighs in with plenty of advice (after all, Aunt Babe says, “You don’t need to be alive to tell folks how to live”). When a marvelous man finally enters Bernita’s life, only time can tell whether she will be able to trust him.

Written with Berry’s signature warmth and reliance on African-American ancestors who deliver homespun healing, When Love Calls, You Better Answer addresses a host of powerful topics, from abusive relationships to corrupt church leaders. Ultimately, Bernita’s story will inspire readers to find the love they need, especially the love that can only come from within.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Motivational speaker Berry (Redemption Song) packs a lot into a folksy, feel-good little novel narrated by a meddling ghost. Poor benighted Bernita Brown has been lured into the arms of several Mr. Wrongs—a boyfriend on the down low, a white New Age guru obsessed with his previous African lives, and a handsome married pastor. Her deceased Aunt Babe, who gabbily observes Bernita's travails from the afterlife, is big on name-dropping black artists and writers, big on self-help–influenced analysis and advice and big on a plan to hook Bernita up with a man who once yelled "good morning" to her from a delivery truck. Bernita ignored him, but Babe knows they're meant to be together. She speaks through every medium within her ghostly reach, including television, radio and a psychic friend of Bernita's, to guide her niece toward true love. Berry has used the ancestors for public service announcements before—her The Haunting of Hip Hop features a group of undead elders who decry the negatives messages of rap—and this episodic story can feel similarly didactic. But Babe is a winning narrator, and the book's conclusion, in which love triumphs, long-lost family members are reunited and villains get their comeuppance, is sentimentally delightful.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Long-dead Aunt Babe looks over her niece, Bernita Brown, a middle-aged social worker with a track record of failed relationships. From the perspective of the afterlife, Aunt Babe can see the mistaken paths of Bernita's life. Aunt Babe had virtually raised Bernita in a highly dysfunctional household of anger, bitterness, and violence. Repenting her own misspent life of sexual promiscuity, which she failed to keep Bernita from witnessing, Babe seizes her chance to make amends. Through tactful maneuvering of people and circumstances in Bernita's life, Babe guides her niece to a deeper understanding of herself. Babe watches Bernita stumble through a loveless marriage, a series of self-actualization groups, and a corrupt church--all with predatory males anxious to take advantage of her lack of self-esteem. Bernita is left distrustful of men and resigned to loneliness until Babe guides her toward true love. Fans of Berry will enjoy her latest novel portraying one woman's search for spirituality and love. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 376 KB
  • Print Length: 210 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0767916387
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (December 18, 2007)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000XUBG6Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,963 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FUN, FULFILLING TALE!! June 14, 2005
Despite her disappointing childhood, Bernita Brown has landed on her feet. With a completely disinterested birth mother, Bernita spends most of her childhood with her Aunt Babe--just barely out of childhood herself--whom she adores. Unfortunately, the feeling is not mutual, as her Aunt views her as an unwanted inconvenience. Desperately seeking love for herself, Bernita's Aunt drags the child along to witness the seemingly endless supply of men her Aunt Babe chooses to give herself to. So Bernita grows up in a house lacking love; and when she decides to go away to college to better herself, she is physically attacked by both her aunt and her mother. But Bernita goes anyway.

Years later, Bernita has launched a successful career in social work--managing a shelter for abused women. Her mother is still alive, but the two are not in contact. Aunt Babe, years later, has passed away...but remains ever regretful of how she treated her young niece. Aunt Babe is determined to help her niece find the loving man she needs and deserves. After witnessing Bernita become involved in a series of disappointing relationships, Aunt Babe realizes that she must reach out to her in a way that she was never able to while alive to help her find The One....and conspires with another man from The Other Side who is equally committed to finding love for the son he never knew while alive. And besides....the two of them are made for each other......

Often funny and sometimes sad, this is a tale that will make readers rethink the relationships that they have with their loved ones, and perhaps incite some to right a wrong....a great read.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful story and lessons! January 10, 2006
This book was so thoughtful and inspiring. Anyone who reads it can surely learn something and take something away from this uplifting story. I especially liked the wisdom the narrator passes on, using old adages, sayings, common sense and astute observations about people and human nature. Some of my favorite passages:

"Life can either be like a car or a garbage truck, its up to you. you can take the car on a journey and learn something around every corner, or you can pick up trash at every stop. But you'll take on so much of everyone else's garbage til your own life starts to stink."

"Self esteem is for the self, but that aint where all of it comes from. It comes from the people around you. if you are around people who tell you that you're dirty, then that's how you'll feel. If they show you love, then you'll learn to feel loved."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Help From Beyond June 19, 2005
When Love Calls You Better Answer is one of the best books I read this year. Bertice Berry's writing reminds me a little of Tina McElroy Ansa and Pearl Cleage. I say Ansa because of her use of a voice from the grave, and Cleage for the literary prose and the subject of women being empowered. Berry's combination of these two styles is what makes this book such an interesting reading experience.

Bernita Brown was born to Buster, who was not interested in being a mother; she only has this baby to prove to her sisters that she can get pregnant. Ultimately, Bernita is raised by her aunt Babe who hated her for no apparent reason other than the fact she was living. The hatred she felt from her aunt and mother and witnessing her aunt Babe search for love in the arms of multiple men, Bernita knew she wanted more for her life. It was a good thing that a teacher saw the potential in Bernita and arranged for her to go to college. Just like crabs dragging each other back, Buster and Babe beat and berate Bernita for choosing college. Once Bernita leaves the home, she never looks back. Fortunately, for Bernita, Babe is watching over her from heaven. Unable to reveal herself to Bernita, Babe watches as Bernita makes the wrong choice in her relationships with men such as Tyrone Phillip Thomas, Jimmymack, Re Member, and Rev. Evans (Van). It is apparent that listening is not Bernita's strong suit, because Babe is whispering advice to her from her heavenly watch. After a devastating exile from the Wellness Center, the church she gave her all for, Bernita is ready to change her life and Babe finally can reveal herself. Babe has set in motion for Bernita to find her true love, but when love calls, will she answer?

I really enjoyed this book.
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This storyline is so well written that it will captivate the reader from the very first word until the the very last sentence.

The story begins with Benita Brown, a social worker who puts every one's problems before her own, mainly because she has yet to discover her true self. Instead she lets other people define who she is or should be for their own benefit and not hers. Her first husband (Tyrone), who is in denial regarding his true sexual orientation. Then there was(Jimmymack) whose self esteem was so low he had to put Benita down to make himself feel good, (ReMember)the great white savior of Enlightenment, who wanted to take her back to her roots when he, himself was confused about his own identity. Benita went throughout the book falling into the clutches of people who did not have her best interests at heart. She ultimately runs into the Rev. Van and his wife Trisha who used the Lord to manipulate peoples lives for their own selfish prosperity and they hurt her to the point that she finally realizes that other people can not help you find you!

Her ghostly Aunt Babe who was the story teller; after she dies, she is suppose to be watching over her niece, Benita from heaven while she falls into all of these pitfalls. If she was watching over her niece Benita, she did not do a very good job, both while she was alive or deceased until the very end when she pushed fate into her nieces life. I think guilt from the negativity she helped cause in Benita life initially while growing up, caused her to finally help her niece through acts of fate to turn her life around so she could enjoy the positive aspects of life.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars entertaining!
I had to read this book for class, Woman's Issues in Literature. It was a quick read. Prior to reading this book I was not familiar with this author. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Markeyta Barrow
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good read.
Published 2 months ago by D. Greene
5.0 out of 5 stars Listen to the ancestors
This is a very deep portrayal of the importance to connecting with the past to create a better future. Many ties bind. You have to be mindful of them.
Published 3 months ago by Pamela Edwards
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Club Reading
It was an easy read and fast reading book. I would recommend it to anyone who likes to read books.
Published 19 months ago by Twyla Bolling
5.0 out of 5 stars when love calls you better answer
I love this book and the story it tells. I was angry each time I had to put it down, because life would call me to another venue. It was a joy to read and I am so glad I bought it
Published on February 16, 2009 by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars A very slow read!
This book was very slow and hard for me to read. I still haven't finished reading it. It's too slow. However, I will eventually finish it as I've paid money for it. Read more
Published on December 29, 2008 by KLG
5.0 out of 5 stars New Fan of Dr Berry
I had never read any of Bertice Berry's works and I will definately be picking up others. When Love Calls You Better Answer, is one of the most enlightening books I have ever read. Read more
Published on June 4, 2008 by Ms Payne
3.0 out of 5 stars Edwina's review of When Love Calls, You Better Answer
Although this is an enjoyable book, I would not count it as Bertice Berry's best, because in my opinion, that honor goes to (1) Redemption Song and (2) The Haunting of Hip Hop. Read more
Published on May 25, 2008 by Edwina Putney
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Gem
Bertice Berry is one of my favorite authors and her fiction debut, "Redemption Song" is one of my favorite books. Read more
Published on March 3, 2008 by MzTee
5.0 out of 5 stars She continues to delivery her best
I started reading this novel and couldn't put it down. I finished it in a day. This is a must read for anyone who has given up on love.
Published on January 5, 2008 by Dana E. Thomas
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