22 February 2018

Sister, Sister by Eric Jerome Dickey

Series: N/A
# of Pages: 256
Publication: 1996
Source: Library Audiobook
Genre: Realistic Fiction
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Sassy, comical, and true-to-life, this book tells the tale ofthree young African-American women--perky wife Valerie, scheming social worker Inda, and broken-hearted flight attendant Chiquita--and how their lives are coming together, and apart, in Los Angeles. Fresh and in-your-face, this witty novel depicts a world where women sometimes have to alter their dreams, but never have to stop embracing the future.

This was my first experience with Eric Jerome Dickey and I must say it won’t be my last. This book specifically focuses on three women who are linked in a variety of ways including the fact that all three have had their heart broken. I listened to this book on audio and it made the experience really fascinating and interesting. I’m still amazed that a man was able to write with such thorough accuracy about the experiences of women. This book takes the reader on a roller coaster ride as the three main characters attempt to find independence, love, and confidence after finding that appearances aren’t always what they appear to be.

One of my favorite aspects of this book was the character development. Out of the three women, I definitely resonated with Valerie. Val, as called in the book, is a woman stuck in a loveless marriage trying to make things work to the best of her ability. While I’m not stuck in a loveless marriage, I did understand her passion and need to stay and work things out. She was willing to honor her vows until she was pushed beyond her limit. It was heart-wrenching and beautiful to see her finally break and then work to build herself back up. While I don’t condone or recommend anyone staying in an unhealthy relationship as long as Val did, I do recognize and admire the power and strength it took to not only leave her husband, but also the fact that she was willing to start over and move past all of the crap that he put her through. I will warn that this book does have a trigger for verbal abuse. Her husband essentially told her she was nothing at one point in the book and it is clear that this verbal abuse had an effect on her psyche. I didn’t find Inda’s and Chaquita’s stories to be as captivating, but they still had a lot to offer especially the conflict that Chaquita had to resolve with her mother and herself.

The major downside to this book was the writing. Some parts of the book were poetic and I really enjoyed Dickey’s ability to exude the need of self-confidence in black women; however, while listening to the audiobook I heard a number of repeated phrases that got boring after a while including “sister girl.” There’s only so much repetition that a person can here before it becomes redundant and boring. I also wished that Dickey would have explored each characters ending a little further. It seemed as though characters ended up with loose ends that could have been explored and tied together. It did not have to be neat and perfect; however, I think that he definitely could have done more in terms of coming up with how the plot should have ended for each character. It felt too rushed and abrupt for my own personal taste.

Other than that, the book was good. It couldn’t garner a four stars from me simply because of the writing and lack of plot development; however, it was enough to make me interested in reading more of his books. I currently have one on hold at the library that I plan to start sometime soon. If you’re looking for an interesting book that focuses on the empowerment of black women I would give this one a try.


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