TAMING IT DOWN by Kim McLarin

TAMING IT DOWN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Newcomer McLarin, who’s worked for the AP, Philadelphia Inquirer, and the New York Times, debuts with the story of a young black woman’s struggles—professional and social--in the white man’s world of journalism. Although far too few scenes from Hope Robinson’s formative youth are on view here, it’s clear that her years as one of the few black students at a northeastern prep school have had a lasting effect on her adult attitude toward both blacks and whites. Now a news reporter at The Philadelphia Record, the 28-year-old Hope feels shunned by the other black employees and wary of the white ones. Caught between two worlds, a psychological state she’s come to regard as routine, she reaches out to no one and returns each day to her solitary apartment where she sleeps, watches TV, and screens calls from her worried mother back in Memphis, who depends on Hope and her younger sister to fulfill her own dreams. When Hope meets charismatic David Carson, a white editor at her paper, and learns he’s romantically involved with Stephanie Woodbridge, a white reporter who seems to epitomize the privileged, racist type, Hope decides to release her pent-up anger in a highly personal way. Her subsequent torrid affair with David ends sadly when David decides he can—t give up on Stephanie, who’s been awarded a promotion and will be leaving Philadelphia for good. After plenty of heartache, Hope finally opens herself instead to Malcolm, a radical black reporter from another paper who needs Hope’s talent for mental balance as much as she needs his impulsiveness. The big discovery: no one is as perfect as they seem. Yet another not-so-gripping, syrupy romance: Hope’s work-life, unfortunately, is more revelatory than her love life—and would have been far more interesting. (Author tour)

Pub Date: July 8th, 1998
ISBN: 0-688-15516-2
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1998




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