Breezy and memorable, Segundo’s fictionalized memoir details the carefree days of youth as well as the dire consequences of...


Sweet Holy Motherfucking Everloving Delusional Bastard


The R-rated fictional memoir of a man’s two-year journey from college graduation to incarceration on a rape charge.

In this embellished chronicle, Segundo presents himself as 22, single, frustrated, and unemployed, a recent college grad resigned to desperately fantasizing about storefront mannequins for entertainment. The depressing difficulties in finding gainful employment in his chosen field (sociology) as well as a glaring lack of a love life weighed on this kindhearted if socially awkward dork with a bachelor’s degree and few prospects. After a rather calamitous skiing weekend with womanizing college buddy Dave and female-challenged beekeeper Graham, Segundo finally scored a job at a school for handicapped children. There, head teacher Maura Wood immediately captured his attention and eventually his heart, as detailed in pages of corny musings and explicit sex scenes: “Lost in her timeless rhythm, she ebbed and flowed like a tropical tide.” Segundo gushes, “I washed ashore on her wave.” Once accepted by Maura’s skeptical pregnant friend, Judith, the lovers bonded over the limitations of the “speds” they assisted at school and fell deeper in love; they also attempted to dissuade Graham from romantically pursuing Judith. For all its harmless narrative banter and romantic innocence, the story takes a dark turn: Maura dumped Segundo and he began to date uppity, high-maintenance Sandra, though a rekindling with Maura sparked an accusation of rape and unleashed a torrent of damning legalities. Segundo ended up being convicted as a rapist and sentenced to five to seven years at a minimum-security penitentiary; he served three years and was released on probation. His unsuccessful plight to clear his name demonstrates the imbalanced nature of the U.S. justice system and the panicked torture of being an innocent man at the mercy of it. Chatty, digressive, and flush with opinionated asides, Segundo’s story concludes with some ambiguity as to how much of it is has actually been fictionalized, which only deepens its allure.

Breezy and memorable, Segundo’s fictionalized memoir details the carefree days of youth as well as the dire consequences of a sexual misunderstanding.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9882085-1-3

Page Count: 302

Publisher: Tillerman Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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Kin “[find] each other’s lives inscrutable” in this rich, sharp story about the way identity is formed.

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Inseparable identical twin sisters ditch home together, and then one decides to vanish.

The talented Bennett fuels her fiction with secrets—first in her lauded debut, The Mothers (2016), and now in the assured and magnetic story of the Vignes sisters, light-skinned women parked on opposite sides of the color line. Desiree, the “fidgety twin,” and Stella, “a smart, careful girl,” make their break from stultifying rural Mallard, Louisiana, becoming 16-year-old runaways in 1954 New Orleans. The novel opens 14 years later as Desiree, fleeing a violent marriage in D.C., returns home with a different relative: her 8-year-old daughter, Jude. The gossips are agog: “In Mallard, nobody married dark....Marrying a dark man and dragging his blueblack child all over town was one step too far.” Desiree's decision seals Jude’s misery in this “colorstruck” place and propels a new generation of flight: Jude escapes on a track scholarship to UCLA. Tending bar as a side job in Beverly Hills, she catches a glimpse of her mother’s doppelgänger. Stella, ensconced in white society, is shedding her fur coat. Jude, so black that strangers routinely stare, is unrecognizable to her aunt. All this is expertly paced, unfurling before the book is half finished; a reader can guess what is coming. Bennett is deeply engaged in the unknowability of other people and the scourge of colorism. The scene in which Stella adopts her white persona is a tour de force of doubling and confusion. It calls up Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, the book's 50-year-old antecedent. Bennett's novel plays with its characters' nagging feelings of being incomplete—for the twins without each other; for Jude’s boyfriend, Reese, who is trans and seeks surgery; for their friend Barry, who performs in drag as Bianca. Bennett keeps all these plot threads thrumming and her social commentary crisp. In the second half, Jude spars with her cousin Kennedy, Stella's daughter, a spoiled actress.

Kin “[find] each other’s lives inscrutable” in this rich, sharp story about the way identity is formed.

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-53629-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Riverhead

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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More Hallmarkiana, from a shameless expert in the genre.


High-stakes weepmeister Sparks (A Walk to Remember, 1999, etc.) opts for a happy ending his fourth time out. His writing has improved—though it's still the equivalent of paint-by-numbers—and he makes use this time of at least a vestige of credible psychology.

That vestige involves the deep dark secret—it has something to do with his father's death when son Taylor was nine—that haunts kind, good 36-year-old local contractor Taylor McAden and makes him withdraw from relationships whenever they start getting serious enough to maybe get permanent. He's done this twice before, and now he does it again with pretty and sweet single mother Denise Holton, age 29, who's moved from Atlanta to Taylor's town of Edenton, North Carolina, in order to devote her time more fully to training her four-year-old son Kyle to overcome the peculiar impediment he has that keeps him from achieving normal language acquisition. Okay? When Denise has a car accident in a bad storm, she's rescued by volunteer fireman Taylor—who also rescues little Kyle after he wanders away from his injured mom in the storm. Love blooms in the weeks that follow—until Taylor suddenly begins putting on the brakes. What is it that holds him back, when there just isn't any question but that he loves Denise and vice versa-not to mention that he's "great" with Kyle, just like a father? It will require a couple of near-death experiences (as fireman Taylor bravely risks his life to save others); emotional steadiness from the intelligent, good, true Denise; and the terrible death of a dear and devoted friend before Taylor will come to the point at last of confiding to Denise the terrible memory of how his father died—and the guilt that's been its legacy to Taylor. The psychological dam broken, love will at last be able to flow.

More Hallmarkiana, from a shameless expert in the genre.

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2000

ISBN: 0-446-52550-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2000

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