From Publishers Weekly
Affluent African-Americans are the protagonists of this entertaining novel, a gossipy tell-all that goes behind the scenes of suburban life to reveal the secrets of the inhabitants of Silver Lake, an exclusive enclave of Prince George's County, a Washington, D.C., suburb. Through the eyes of five women, readers learn that even in this so-called exclusive community, residents are still fighting to be judged for who they are rather than what "class of society" they represent. Barbara, the grand dame of Silver Lake, is a recovering alcoholic married to Bradford Bently III, multimillionaire and womanizer. She's struggling to regain her self-confidence and to save her 30-year marriage. Jolene, married to hardworking Patrick, is a high-ranking civil servant blinded by revenge and greed and willing to do whatever it takes to move up the social ladder. Pearl, a divorce, is a successful beauty-shop owner, living on the outskirts of the community. Candice is an aging white flower child, living with her second husband and two daughters and coming to grips with an old family secret that, if revealed, may tear her family apart. Lee, a runaway teenager, looking for a father who doesn't know she exists, comes to Silver Lake armed with one clue, the nickname Smokey. Though the story is a stereotypical smalltown drama, Briscoe (Sisters and Lovers) uses her skill as a talented storyteller to deliver just the right touch of intrigue.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Prince George's County, MD, adjacent to the nation's capital and one of America's most affluent majority African-American counties, is the backdrop to this novel. The main characters live in the exclusive, gated Silver Lake community. They include Barbara, the long-suffering wife of a womanizing self-made millionaire; Jolene, a sexy, materialistic government executive who seeks to replace her husband with a wealthier, more ambitious man; and Candice, a white, aging hippie whose daughter, Ashley, is dating Kenyatta, a young black man. Candice opposes her daughter's dating outside of her race, and Kenyatta's mother, a hardworking divorce whose husband had abandoned them to marry a white woman, is equally against her son's choice. Lee is an abused, runaway teen whose life collides violently with the opulent world of Silver Lake in her desperate search for her father, whom she has never met. One subplot gives an unexpected 21st-century spin on the "tragic mulatto" literary theme of the early 20th century. Teens who have read James Weldon Johnson's The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (Vintage, 1989) or Charles Chestnutt's "The Wife of His Youth" might find it interesting to compare the significance of racial identification explored in those works to its importance here. Fans of Terry McMillan and E. Lynn Harris will also enjoy this novel.Joyce Fay Fletcher, Rippon Middle School, Prince William County, VA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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