Monday, November 22, 2010
Avery is the main character in UPTOWN BY VIRGINIA DEBERRY AND DONNA GRANT. Avery's mind is very focused. She is a very strong African American woman; However, Avery is no different from most women. She has deep concerns about unfinished business with her mother. In a letter her mother wrote before her death, Avery finds these words. "I don't know if it's something I did, or didn't do? Said or didn't say? ....Did I ignore a need?" I think the letter written by Avery's mother is powerful. What mother has not asked herself these questions at one time or another time. Mothers want to do it right. The love is deep for one child or many children.
Avery is also disturbed by her Cousin Dwight. Dwight is one of the ghosts in Avery's closet. Dwight is a man that likes money like a baby likes his bottle filled with milk. The problem with Dwight is his selfishness which leads him not to think of the welfare of other people. In the novel, he is named a "Luxury Slumlord." If you like to read about the rolling and dicing behind real estate deals, you will flow with the writing of DeBerry and Grant. What happens to the men, women and children living in these places when realtors like Dwight do not live by a code of ethics? This part of the book is apropos for the schemes played out during the recent past and present on America's news and in private homes. Unfortunately, Dixon's philosophy is "make them believe the good time starts when you walk through the doors...before there are doors. Give them enchantment. Make them buy your dream."
There are many great characters in UPTOWN. I adored Jazz. He's Avery's romantic fire in the midst of darkness. Alicia is the best friend every woman wants to have and keep. There is King, Dwight's father. There is Renee, Dwight's wife, who lives through a very public nightmare with her dignity intact. Last but not least is Marlon Cumberpatch. Immediately after meeting him, your love and prayers go in to swift action. In the end for all of these characters, it's about how to fall down in life without giving up but with the strength to wipe yourself off and start all over again.
The authors VIRGINIA DEBERRY and DONNA GRANT write beautifully. On almost every page were words I wanted to note and remember. Their writing is definitely poetic prose. These two women authors are best friends. They are also fantastically gifted writers who know the importance of "place" in a novel. The place or places we live like New York or New Jersey or New Zealand are the base of our roots. When we leave one place, we take all the good and bad baggage with us to the new place. Our Geography will always remain a part of our whole selves.