Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $4.52 shipping
Love and Consequences: A Memoir of Hope and Survival Hardcover – February 28, 2008
|New from||Used from|
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
*Starred Review* Jones was only five years old when she was taken away from her family after a teacher noticed signs of sexual abuse. After being bounced around from house to house for three years, Jones’ caseworker takes her to South Central Los Angeles and the home of Big Mom, a tough, religious African American woman caring for her four grandchildren. Here, Jones finally finds a home and a family and quickly learns the rules of the neighborhood, which is run by the Bloods. Her two older brothers, Tyrell and Taye, join the gang, and Jones longs to as well, even after both brothers go to jail for different offenses. In spite of terrible losses—Jones calls a friend she saw just the night before and learns that he has been murdered—Jones becomes a provider for her family by running drugs. Eventually, she surprises even herself by doing what she once thought was impossible: getting into college and leaving South Central. Raw and powerful, Jones’ memoir is unforgettable, painting a vivid picture of a world most of us turn away from, one that thrives on loyalty and love amid all the bloodshed. --Kristine Huntley
About the Author
Margaret B. Jones, born in Pomona, California, was brought up in Los Angeles. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in ethnic studies and is an active member of International Brother/SisterHood, which works to reduce gang violence and mentor urban teens. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
How bizarre to go so far as to have pictures of fake dead relatives hanging in your home to show the interviewer from the Times? And be raising pitt bulls to further the ruse? And put your daughters photo in the paper? What is wrong with this person? It's a shame because the book was interesting, but I could not give it a good review because it is not a memoir of any sort.
Actually, as revealed by Cyndi Hoffman, Jones' (not her real name) sister, it's a memoir like no other because it's not a memoir - it's total fabrication.
Jones seems to have hoodwinked everyone so the publisher can be forgiven.
As the author (?) earnestly writes in the introductory "Author's Note on Language, Dialect, and Kontent", Please do not confuse the use of slang and my replacing c's with k's as ignorance or stupidity".
No chance of that.
It's clearly cleverness, but not quite clever enough to pull off the scam.
I want my money back.
However, that in and of itself was not reason to refuse to read the book or to consider it false. But by the time the book came in, the newstory had broken. I mention this because before I could read "Love and Consequences" with an open mind, I knew the facts behind the case. Therefore, it is impossible for me to know how I would have reacted to it without bias, or how it might have fooled serious reviewers such as NYTs Michiko Kakutami. There is a suspicion I have that reviewers were weighted down with the sense of "political correctness" -- that if such a book WAS real, it would be improper not to treat it both seriously and gently...to overlook its obvious flaws.
How to review it then? as a "fake memoir" or a sincere piece of fiction? By either standard, I am afraid that "Love and Consequences" is not a very good book. I think without the drama of believing it was a real memoir, by a real "gangsta girl", no publisher would have given this a second look.
Readers (if you can get ahold of what is now a fairly rare edition) should be aware that most of the book is written in an annoying "ghetto-speak", full of phrases like "I dint kno u mah nigga", "Dizzam!" and "Wasssup?" This is incredibly annoying and difficult to read, and mostly unnecessary -- how is spelling "know" as K-N-O indicate anything, since they are pronounced the same way? (Sadly, NPR interviews with Ms. Seltzer indicate she actually talks in this sort of contrived patois, though she was raised in an affluent white neighborhood by her real parents, and attended a posh private school.)
The story is rambling and full of inconsistencies. Young Maggie is taken from her mother at the age of six, due to vague charge of molestation. (It is never clear whether this really happened, or was a mistake.) No mention is made of a father, and Maggie/Bree quickly forgets her real mother and home. This strikes an unbelievable note: a six year old would know and remember her real parents and ask about them. We aren't even told if the molestor was her mother, or someone else. If not her mother, why was no effort expended to try and reunite them, as is the norm with foster kids? What ever happened to the mother? Maggie/Bree never makes an attempt to locate her, even after she is emancipated at the age of 16.
The author also describes herself as being half Native American and half white, and as looking Mexican (despite a book jacket photo that clearly shows a white woman with pale skin and light brown hair). It strikes me as unusual that a social service agency would place an attractive white child in the roughest ghetto in LA, or that a Native American child would not be returned to her tribe. None of these odd circumstances are even discussed.
You would expect the book to show the voyage the author made from selling drugs and violent street life, to getting into college, but it's more of a rambling narrative lurching from set piece to another: people and dogs get killed, her foster brothers get thrown in jail, they run out of food, etc. In other words, its pretty much re-enforcing most of the stereotypes that middle class white Americans already carry around about "ghetto life", rather than challenging them. A avid viewer of the TV series "The Wire" could have cobbled this together from a mishmash of details on that show.
The book also ends abruptly, around the time that Maggie/Bree magically gets into college...in Oregon of all places. This had the potential to be the most fascinating part of the book -- how did a homegirl from a troubled background adjust to academic life, among privileged white classmates? Presumably she lived in a dorm, and on full scholarship -- how did that work out for her? How were her values tested and/or changed? But the book dodges all that by ending so suddenly and without transition or resolution.
In short, had I NOT known about the fraud behind the book, "Love and Consequences" was so dull and so hard to read with all the dialect, that I almost certainly would not have finished it, and by this time, it would be long forgotten. The only reason for reviewing or discussing it at this time is because there have been so many high profile frauds lately, that this one was discovered just as the book came into print and what it says on a much deeper level about the publishing industry -- how easily they are fooled when they see something they can exploit and "market", what an easy ride they give to authors who have a sympathic, handwringing sort of backstory....how important an attractive author, with an attractive marketable story, IS today and how it utterly outweighs the requirement that a book be of high quality...that it be LITERATURE and not simply the marketing means to an end.
Now -- that's a subject for a really good book, and I hope someone will write it.
For compelling fiction featuring mixed race protagonists in Los Angeles, consider Brian Ascalon Roley's American Son. For fiction in general that discusses mixed race issues, take a look at Danzy Senna's Caucasia, Heidi Durrow's The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, and so many others. For actual memoirs that deal with the issue in a more responsible way, try Rebecca Walker's Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self, June Cross's Secret Daughter: A Mixed-Race Daughter and the Mother Who Gave Her Away, and the collection of essays entitled Half and Half: Writers on Growing Up Biracial and Bicultural.