FRIENDS AND LOVERS by Eric Jerome Dickey


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 Second-novelist Dickey more than fulfills the promise shown in Sister, Sister (1996), again offering real characters and invigorating, believable dialogue. The loves, lives, and losses of four vibrant, Los Angelesbased African-American men and women are the subjects on which Dickey focuses his powers of observation and finely tuned wit. Tyrel, whose twin sister Mye is a constant source of support, is a computer-company executive whose career is far more steady than his love life. His best friend, Leonard, is an aspiring stand- up comedian who seems poised for stardom, though also remaining unhappily single. When the two men meet Debra and Shelby, it seems that their luck has taken a dramatic turn for the better; after a matter of days, Leonard and the light-skinned, quiet but determined Debra, an OB-GYN nurse, have fallen for each other big-time. It takes Tyrel and the outspoken, harder-edged Shelby, a flight attendant (who hates being called a ``stewardess''), a little longer, but after a rocky start they too find in each other what they've been searching for. Los Angeles seems at first a paradise for the foursome as they enthusiastically hit the beaches, comedy clubs, restaurants, and discos. Then a massive misunderstanding destroys Tyrel and Shelby's romance, leading them to move to San Francisco and San Diego, respectively; by this time, Leonard and Debra are happily married and frustrated with their best friends' inability to resolve their differences. It takes tragedy on a grand scale to reunite lovers destined for each other and to teach both couples that friendship is perhaps the most valuable gift they've been given. With four characters taking turns offering snippets of the story, it's sometimes hard to keep track of who's talking--but familiarity makes for smoother sailing through another success scored by Dickey. (Literary Guild selection; author tour)

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 1997
ISBN: 0-525-94127-4
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1997


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