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From lack of plot to banal dialogue, everything indicates that Hardy has squeezed the last drop out of this provender.

This wisp of a novel is the sixth and final volume in Hardy’s B-Boy Blues series, about two gay black men and their friends and families.

The action, what there is of it, extends over four days in June 2003. It’s been ten years since Mitchell and Raheim became lovers, and four since they broke up. Now, Mitchell is freelancing as a journalist while raising two kids in his Brooklyn brownstone. Errol, one of them, is Raheim’s son (abandoned by him) and about to turn 15. Five-year-old Destiny is the daughter of Mitchell’s mother, thus actually Mitchell’s sister, except that his mother, at 49, decided she was too old to raise another kid, although she’s happy as a loving “grandmother.” Unusual arrangements, but the house runs like clockwork thanks to Mitchell’s expert care. And suddenly everything is coming up roses. Mitchell gets a fabulous job offer as editor in chief of the magazine he’d earlier parted from bitterly (it’s under new ownership). Raheim is on a roll, too. He’s kicked his gambling addiction, with the help of Gamblers Anonymous, and is living harmoniously with his father. He also gets a fabulous offer after a long dry spell—the lead in a movie about a gay ballplayer. And Errol, smart as a whip, is already being courted by Ivy League schools. In what amounts to a long curtain call, some old faces put in appearances. B.D. and Babyface are moving to Canada, where they’ll have a legal marriage. Raheim’s nemesis, Malice, is his nasty old self. Mitchell’s old flame, Montee Simms, is still a sweetheart. Except for Malice, nobody speaks a harsh work in this lovefest. Errol, for example, has forgiven Raheim, just as Raheim has forgiven his dad. The message? Well, “Love is always worth it.” The sweetness is cloying, though the inevitable reconciliation between Mitchell and Raheim is nicely understated.

From lack of plot to banal dialogue, everything indicates that Hardy has squeezed the last drop out of this provender.

Pub Date: June 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-06-621249-9

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2005

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Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Sisters work together to solve a child-abandonment case.

Ellie and Julia Cates have never been close. Julia is shy and brainy; Ellie gets by on charm and looks. Their differences must be tossed aside when a traumatized young girl wanders in from the forest into their hometown in Washington. The sisters’ professional skills are put to the test. Julia is a world-renowned child psychologist who has lost her edge. She is reeling from a case that went publicly sour. Though she was cleared of all wrongdoing, Julia’s name was tarnished, forcing her to shutter her Beverly Hills practice. Ellie Barton is the local police chief in Rain Valley, who’s never faced a tougher case. This is her chance to prove she is more than just a fading homecoming queen, but a scarcity of clues and a reluctant victim make locating the girl’s parents nearly impossible. Ellie places an SOS call to her sister; she needs an expert to rehabilitate this wild-child who has been living outside of civilization for years. Confronted with her professional demons, Julia once again has the opportunity to display her talents and salvage her reputation. Hannah (The Things We Do for Love, 2004, etc.) is at her best when writing from the girl’s perspective. The feral wolf-child keeps the reader interested long after the other, transparent characters have grown tiresome. Hannah’s torturously over-written romance passages are stale, but there are surprises in store as the sisters set about unearthing Alice’s past and creating a home for her.

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Pub Date: March 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-345-46752-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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