COPYCAT by Kimberla Lawson Roby


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Traci Calloway Cole has just published her third novel: Copycat. Isn’t it a coincidence that now she has a copycat of her own?

Lawson (A Sinful Calling, 2016, etc.) adds to her library of novellas documenting the soap-opera lives of the people in the Rev. Curtis Black’s congregation at Deliverance Outreach Church. Fans of the series will certainly rejoice in this latest installment, and its brevity may entice new members into Rev. Black’s fold. This episode focuses on two women writers whose friendship twists into a parasitic relationship. Unfortunately, Lawson wastes little time developing the complex psychology of either woman, favoring instead a quick accretion of troubling incidents. Traci’s admirer, Simone Phillips, currently works as an insurance claims adjuster, although she aspires to fame as a writer of romance novels. Engaged to Chris, a handsome postal worker, she has high hopes for her future, especially now that she’s escaped the clutches of her drug-addicted mother and guilt-tripping grandmother. So it’s a bit like winning the lottery when she meets the famous Traci Calloway Cole at the hair salon. Eager to learn as much as she can from a successful writer, Simone quickly friends Traci through every social media channel. For her part, Traci is eager to have a friend who is also a writer, and she’s happy to use her own good fortune to help Simone; after all, Rev. Black preaches the good word of generosity each Sunday. Utterly oblivious to her own pathology, Simone discovers that she and Traci have similar tastes in everything. Rather quickly, however, similar tastes evolve into copycatting: Simone begins dressing like Traci, tweeting like Traci, talking like Traci, driving the same car as Traci, and even attending the same church, much to Chris’ dismay. Not surprisingly, trouble ensues.

An All About Eve–style cautionary tale for successful women.

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-4555-6971-7
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2016


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