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With my new Barnes & Noble nook e-reader, I have been reading non-stop. When I visited my regular online bookstore, hunting for my next read, I came across an interesting section of recommended reads titled, “Oprah’s Book Club”.
I have previously read “The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood” which was an Oprah recommendation. I know what you’re thinking. Yes – all Oprah’s books are either very inspiring true story autobiographies or very Hallmark-ish plots.
Since I was in the mood to read just about anything, I picked up this book titled, “What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day” by Pearl Cleage. The praise for the author named her as the next Terry McMillan. For those of you unaware, Terry McMillan is a black female author of “Waiting to Exhale” the book. I read several Terry McMillan books before and although I enjoy her writing, I do get some difficulties getting into the plot and characters. Because they’re so African American in nature, I had difficulty relating.
Being on Oprah’s Book Club and having such amazing comparison to Terry McMillan, I knew I had to pick this one up.
After a decade of elegant pleasures and luxe living with the Atlanta brothers and sisters with the best clothes and biggest dreams Ava Johnson has temporarily returned home to Idlewild her fabulous career and power plans smashed to bits by cold reality. But what she imagines to be the end is instead a beginning. Because in the ten-plus years since Ava left all the problems of the big city have come to roost in the sleepy North Michigan community whose ordinariness once drove her away; and she cannot turn her back on friends and family who sorely need her in the face of impending trouble and tragedy. Besides which that one unthinkable unmistakable thing is now happening to her: Ava Johnson is falling in love.
Acclaimed playwright essayist New York Times bestselling author and columnist Pearl Cleage has created a world rich in character human drama and deep compassionate understanding in a remarkable novel that sizzles with sensuality hums with gritty truth and sings and crackles with life-affirming energy
Yes, this is another book I’ve read about the pride of being a black woman. Which, as I mention, find it tough to relate to sometimes – being an Asian Chinese woman, you see. Nevertheless, I enjoyed Cleage’s writing and excellent description of her characters, surroundings and incidents. She allowed my imagination to get along her storyline quite easily.
In the first chapter itself, we are introduced to Ava Johnson. It didn’t take long for the author to start painting the picture of poor Ava Johnson who has been diagnosed with HIV positive for over a year, sold her business and moved back to her family hometown to visit her sister.
I appreciate the way Cleage exposed us to ignorance on the subject of HIV, AIDS and sex education in our society. At the end of the book itself, it even has a few discussion topics to move along a “book club” discussion on HIV.
I hate to say this, but I personally am not thoroughly educated on the AIDS. The book created a lot of queries in my mind about those diagnosed with this disorder and the difference between being HIV positive and AIDS. I am happy to say that this book indeed makes me more aware and conscious. It points a mirror at the society and make us see how uneducated and ignorant we truly are.
A good book indeed if you’re into social awareness kinda books, told in a fiction storyline. Nevertheless, this would be a book that I would likely only recommend to my female friends, though. *wink*