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Black Authors Book Reviews

Sister Friends Forever by Kimberla Lawson Roby

Synopsis

This book explores the lives of four friends Kenya, Serena, Michelle, and Lynette. They met when they were young in church and have been friends for forty plus years. They are each going through their own issues in their love lives. Serena finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her and wills for the day she finds someone. Michelle has ran into an old flame and isn’t sure if she wants to marry her fiancé. Lynette, who is divorced from her cheating, lying husband, is rediscovering her dating life. Kenya and her husband are having issues with her husband’s ex wife, who won’t allow their son around Kenya. What could possibly happen?

My review

I got this book while looking for black protagonists and black authors. I saw the picture of friends in the front and was excited to dive into each of their lives. I finished the book, however I couldn’t wait to be done.

Although I love books with different narrators, I felt like this could’ve given more. Each storyline individually felt rushed because we’re exploring through four different people’s problems. There were only like three or four group scenes; the only thing that connected the stories was the fact they were friends with troubles connected to their live lives. I did enjoy the repertoire amongst them. It would’ve flowed better and maybe more detail would’ve been added if every character had their own book (or at least parts).

I felt like in some ways each friend were all kind of the same. Maybe that’s a testament to how close they were and why they are friends. Still none of them truly challenged each other or asked difficult questions for the better, evidenced by their dislike of Tim.

The book has a heavy message in a belief of God and celibacy until finding the one. It was a little distracting as someone who doesn’t believe in the Christian God and who thinks sex is a personal decision. Serena and Michelle make a pact of celibacy until marriage, but when Michelle breaks it, Serena is upset and disappointed, which I can understand in the sense a promise was broken. But also, it’s her life let it go.

Serena got closure and found a man she wanted to marry, even though he made less money. Lynette’a husband confessing his love to her didn’t really contribute anything. The man she’s dating turns out be committing fraud, so she ends up dating the other man she met at the same time. Kenya and her husband end up getting full custody of her husbands first child. His ex wife is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Michelle and her ex fiancé coparent while she marries her old love against her parents approval.

The storyline I was most interested in was Michelle’s because I love a love triangle and I enjoy stories of old flames reconnecting.

Everything was a little one note in the book, but that is more because of my own personal beliefs and how God is such a central focus. I also felt as if everything ended too perfectly for each of them. That could also be due to my belief system that divorcing and sex and children outside of marriage is not that big of a deal.

All of them getting their happy endings around the same time with seemingly no consequences…nothing moved me. I love happy endings and when situations work out but it fell a little flat. Or maybe I’m a cynic.

It was a quick read. I rate it 2 out of 5 stars. I probably won’t touch it again. I would recommend it so I can talk about it with someone else, but I wouldn’t say it’s good or I liked it.

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