LI'L MAMA'S RULES by Sheneska Jackson

LI'L MAMA'S RULES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Jackson's second (after Caught Up in the Rapture, 1996) again explores the intricacies of dating and relationships in the '90s, predominately among middle-class African Americans, with some wry- -and eminently universal--observations on the battle between the sexes (``It's all in the mind, not the behind''). Madison is in many ways a typical Modern Woman. At 30, she's got a solid career as a teacher at a private school, a great apartment, a snazzy designer-wardrobe, and loving friends and family (including a younger sister with Tourette's syndrome). Madison also has a history of disastrous dates. The only man she's ever loved was her first real boyfriend, one Christopher Anzel, who proposed to her just before he finished medical school years before. But when Chris confessed that he'd cheated on her--three times, no less--Madison kissed him good-bye. Since then, the men ``out there'' have proved to be even worse than she'd feared, or else unavailable. There's Terrence, who may have had pectoral implants; boss Tommy Thompson, her lecherous headmaster; her gay best friend Malik, another teacher at Mighty Avalon Preparatory School; Mitchell, who's white and ``freaks her out''--and on and on. When Madison starts getting expensive, tasteful gifts from a ``secret admirer,'' she naturally hopes her luck is turning; but when the admirer reveals himself as none other than Chris Anzel, who has made himself scarce for the past eight years, complications ensue. Unfortunately, Jackson doesn't have enough faith in her love story and introduces--late--what's becoming the all-too-common plot twist of AIDS; the end of the book succumbs to triteness in the form of safe-sex messages. When Madison realizes what's truly in her heart, she learns to jettison her preconceptions about relationships. The story would have been more convincing, though, if Jackson had resisted the temptation to preach. (Author tour)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-684-81842-6
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1997




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