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 In another attempt to cash in on the Terry McMillan phenomenon, this first novel is long on uplift (i.e., ``cultural pride'' and ``positive black images'') and short on style. Its elementary narrative relies on career clichÇs, along with an excess of casual vulgarity and p.c. chitchat (Afrocentrism, stripping, transsexuality, and pubic hair). The plot couldn't be simpler: An ``aggressive and savvy'' young businesswoman rises in her job as an asset manager even as she bungles her private life. Armistice (``Misty'') Fine, for all her robust self-esteem, can't find a good man, nor can her best friend, Teresa ``Reesy'' Snowden, a rich girl who's something of a slacker, and definitely out to shock her proper lawyer parents. Rebounding from a bad relationship with a mamma's boy who wet the bed, Misty moves from her company's regional office in Florida up the corporate ladder to Atlanta, ``the Chocolate City for the nineties.'' And Reesy soon follows, surprising Misty with her night job as a stripper, which Reesy defends with lots of jive about ``empowerment.'' Another bad relationship--this one with a two- timer--makes Misty anxious to move on, but her attempted resignation turns out to be a smart career move: She's promoted to the head office in New York City. Reesy soon follows again, resuming her side career, this time with damaging consequences. The real problem, however, is at the office, where Misty has hired Reesy as her assistant, a job that takes its toll on their ``sisterhood.'' Everything works out peachy, though, with Misty still climbing and a prince charming looming on the horizon. Afrocentrism is more a style and consumer choice here than anything meaningful, and the vibe is definitely Cosby (without the kids). But the immature dialogue and silly digressions (an entire chapter on unwanted body hair) make it a debut novel not just awkward but trivial. (Author tour)

Pub Date: April 3rd, 1997
ISBN: 0-446-51200-0
Page count: 288pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1997