From Oprah author Cleage (What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day . . . , 1997, etc.), a romance steeped in black feminism with a dollop of spiritual mysticism.
Two years ago, Regina Burns slid into drug addiction after her fiancé, Son, dropped her at the behest of his powerful mother and her employer, the Atlanta-based motivational speaker Beth Davis, whose cause is registering black women to vote. Regina’s now successfully completed rehab but needs $30,000 to save the family home in Washington, DC (why a house that’s been in the family for three generations has a mortgage is one of the little nagging inconsistencies typical here). Meanwhile, Son, dedicated to motivating men to act responsibly, has died in the World Trade Center attacks. How can Regina refuse her old nemesis Beth’s job offer when it not only pays exactly the money she needs, but also entails arranging the transfer of Son’s papers to Morehouse College in a grand ceremony? Before Regina leaves for Atlanta, her aunt Abbie shares her prophetic vision of what lies in Regina’s future: in particular a blue-eyed man she’ll marry. And guess who Regina meets on her first morning: Blue Hamilton, a former singer turned neighborhood savior/benefactor/vigilante, whose eyes are startlingly blue. Blue quickly recognizes Regina as the woman warrior he disappointed in a previous life as emperor of a powerful black nation. Regina moves into his well-appointed apartment house, makes lovely friends who dress beautifully, live graciously and eat delicious food. Lip service is paid to a plot involving political intrigue, Son’s love-child, and some bad guys trying to reintroduce violence into the neighborhood Blue has cleaned up, but although Regina never misses an opportunity to talk about black and female empowerment, the world that’s described in loving detail is almost fairy-tale perfect. Since Cleage never quite confronts the murky morality of Blue as a black Dirty Harry, there are few bumps along Regina’s happy romance trail.
Lively, fluid, disappointingly shallow.