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A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME by James Earl Hardy


A B-Boy Blues Novel

by James Earl Hardy

Pub Date: June 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-621249-9
Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

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.