Better than I Know Myself

( 38 )

Overview

The beloved #1 Essence bestselling authors of Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made now deliver a novel in which you'll meet their most unforgettable characters yet. Carmen, Jewel, and Regina could not be more different. When they meet as freshmen at Columbia University, they're pretty confident that a friendship among them isn't in the cards.

Jewel is Hollywood royalty: as the teenage star of the TV show "Daddy's Girl," her face is instantly recognizable all across America. Now, ...

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Overview

The beloved #1 Essence bestselling authors of Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made now deliver a novel in which you'll meet their most unforgettable characters yet. Carmen, Jewel, and Regina could not be more different. When they meet as freshmen at Columbia University, they're pretty confident that a friendship among them isn't in the cards.

Jewel is Hollywood royalty: as the teenage star of the TV show "Daddy's Girl," her face is instantly recognizable all across America. Now, though, she wants two things-to get a serious education, and to leave her controlling stage mother behind. Regina is the definitive upper-middle-class African-American girl. Her picture-perfect parents are what she calls "black Ward and June Cleavers" and their goals for her are like a stranglehold. No one can see, though, how far Regina's rebellious side will take her (or how treacherous it will become). Carmen is just trying to get by. A child of the projects whose father is dead and whose mother has vanished, Carmen has been raised by her abusive brother. Columbia is the way for her to get a better life-if she can hold down two jobs and keep her GPA up.

When the three of them meet, their lives are at a crossroad. And as the years progress, from the 1980s to the present day, they are challenged by drug addiction, fame, secrets from the past, sickness, betrayal, and the darkest things women can face. One of them won't survive. But what will be the lasting legacy of their friendship? Better Than I Know Myself is a novel of heartache, triumph, tears, and the unshakeable bonds among women.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312341367
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 806,154
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant are the bestselling authors of Far from the Tree and

Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made. Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made won the Merit Award for fiction from the black caucus of the American Library Association, the Book of the Year award from Blackboard, and the New Author of the Year Award from the Go On Girl Book Club. Virginia and Donna first met while working as models, and what should have been a rivalry ended up as a decades-long friendship. Virginia lives in New Jersey, and Donna lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Reading Group Guide

The beloved #1 Essence bestselling authors of Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made now deliver a novel in which you'll meet their most unforgettable characters yet. Carmen, Jewel, and Regina could not be more different. When they meet as freshmen at Columbia University, they're pretty confident that a friendship among them isn't in the cards.

Jewel is Hollywood royalty: as the teenage star of the TV show "Daddy's Girl," her face is instantly recognizable all across America. Now, though, she wants two things-to get a serious education, and to leave her controlling stage mother behind. Regina is the definitive upper-middle-class African-American girl. Her picture-perfect parents are what she calls "black Ward and June Cleavers" and their goals for her are like a stranglehold. No one can see, though, how far Regina's rebellious side will take her (or how treacherous it will become). Carmen is just trying to get by. A child of the projects whose father is dead and whose mother has vanished, Carmen has been raised by her abusive brother. Columbia is the way for her to get a better life-if she can hold down two jobs and keep her GPA up.

When the three of them meet, their lives are at a crossroad. And as the years progress, from the 1980s to the present day, they are challenged by drug addiction, fame, secrets from the past, sickness, betrayal, and the darkest things women can face. One of them won't survive. But what will be the lasting legacy of their friendship? Better Than I Know Myself is a novel of heartache, triumph, tears, and the unshakeable bonds among women.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 29, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    Okay - I don't know where I've been and how this one slipped past my fingers. I've been a fan of these two powerful ladies for quite some time. Their writing style is like no other. I love they way they loose themselves in order to tell a story. This book had me from page one. I'm sitting at work sleepy right now because I stayed up late and was up early. I felt like a part of the family.... Carmen, Regina and Jewel will be invited to the next family re-union.
    I loved, loved, loved it...........
    Thanks again Ladies

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2011

    Great read!

    Good summer read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    Awsome Read!

    I have never cried so hard. When I finished reading the book, I cried for about 3 days. It was such a page turner and I can relate to every single womans pain in this book! Awesome authirs, awesome writing, awesome read!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2008

    LOVED IT!

    I absolutley loved this book, I felt like I knew these girls as close friends. Being a young woman going through life I was able to relate as well as see a new perspective on life in the ever-changing world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2007

    Great read

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I laughed 'a lot', cried, and empathized with the characters. The characters and situations in this book allow everyone to relate and provide a basis for reflection and a deeper understanding of one's self. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2007

    Deberry & Grant have done it again!

    The plot in this story sizzles. It is a long book intended to be read slowly and savoured. The seamlessness of the story is noticeable. You cannot tell one writer from the other. The importance of girl friends comes through clearly. I thought Regina's addiction and downfall was very well handled. One of these authors must have experienced close up the agony of breast cancer. This part was so poignant - so real. The pain of giving up a child for adoption was also very real. A very interesting book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2006

    Couldn't Put It Down

    This book, one of a kind. It gives you everything a book could, drama, love, friendship, drugs, etc. it covers all topics. The story of 3 friends from 3 totally different backgrounds, who come together in an odd way and you tag along as their friendship and lives develops. This book is hard to put down. Do not hesistate to purchase, You will not be disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2005

    One the of best books i have read

    I really loved this book, i love the friendships i loved the girls and i really enjoyed reading this book. please write another book like this one it's hard to find something good to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2005

    a very powerful read

    i pick this book up and 24 hours later i was finished{only took that long because i had to sleep}this is a book of three women who formed a friendship that we all wished we had ,the good times and the bad times they were there for each other,it made my heart warm and it made my heart break,i would recommend that everyone who wants to know the true meaning of friendship and life read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2005

    Very emotional and involving

    Better than i know myself was great. As you read this book you get to know each of the characters. very emotional but keeps you interested. I read the book in 3 days.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2005

    This was an average read not great!

    I really like the authors and have read other books by them and they were all excellent ! However , I took the book back because it was just not interesting and I did not seee the connection between the 3 friends.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2005

    Better Than I Know Myself - Highly Recommended

    I have read both Trying to Sleep in the Bed You Made and Far From the Tree. When I saw Better Than I Know Myself, I immediately bought the book. Virginia Deberry and Donna Grant write books that just grab you and don't let go. I stepped into the story with Jewell, Regina and Carmen and shared their joys and sorrows, ups and downs. I could not put the book down. In addition, Virginia and Donna write books that don't contain a lot of graphic sexual depiction. If it isn't central to the storyline, it isn't there. While I'm not bashing Eric Jerome or E. Lynn (I love them, too), it is refreshing to read books that are carried on strong, developed woman characters who aren't hopping in and out of bed. I recommend Better Than I Know Myself and all of Virginia and Donna's books. You won't be disappointed.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2005

    Wonderfully written

    This was the second book that I read by Ms. DeBerry and Ms. Grant. It reminded me of what real friendship is about. Although the women in the book were from different backgrounds they forged a friendship that withstood the test of time. I cried, I laughed but most of all I felt everything that they felt. It was most refreshing too to read a book that wasn't bogged down with a lot of sex and violence to make the story. I can't wait for the next one!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2005

    A Good Spring Read

    I have been waiting for another good book from these two authors. Their first book Trying to Sleep In the Bed You Made was a great read also.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2005

    strong character study inside a buddy tale

    In the Brooklyn projects ¿prisoner¿ Carmen struggles to survive the mean streets. Her father is dead, her mother vanished, and her older brother has ¿raised¿ her by abusing her. Hew ticket out of the slums is Columbia University, but that means two jobs and non-stop studying. ---In Franklin, New Jersey, upper middle class Regina lives the African-American equivalent to the Cleaver household though she is no Beaver. Her parents ¿Ward and June¿ have set life goals for her that so restrict her she is ready to revolt. ---In Baldwin hills, California, teenage star Jewel cannot hide from the fact that she is recognizable as a star on the TV show 'Daddy's Girl. However, Jewel has made some decisions about the direction of her life. She plans to go to school to obtain a real education and to achieve that she needs to escape from her stage mother. ---In 1981, these three teens from totally different social classes meet in Morningside Heights and forge a friendship that survive drugs, secrets, illness, betrayal, and death. For each ahs found solace in the other two. ---This sisterhood tale is a fine comparative look at three strong protagonists who form a friendship that helps each of them achieve a modicum of happenings in spite of setbacks. Each of the trio is a unique fully developed person so that readers understand what drives them. Fans of a strong character study inside a buddy tale will enjoy the apropos titled BETTER THAN I KNOW MYSELF for these pals surely do. ---Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2005

    Friendship, Love, Courage

    I really enjoyed this book. It was book about overcoming obstacles, finding love, and believing in friendship. I cried....I don't normally cry over books, but this book touch my heart. And when i was finished I wanted to call my bestfriend and just tell her that I loved her no matter what. That's how this book made me feel. I recommend it to people who enjoy reading a good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2004

    Don't fall, cause you'll be on the edge of your seat!

    I loved the book! I think we all can relate to each of the characters on some level or another. I was so wrapped up, I wanted to skip chapters. But it was only because they held my attention so strong I couldn't wait to see what happen next. Each of the characters became a friend. These two authors make a great team. I would very much recommend this book to another reader.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2004

    Unlikely Combination

    Authors Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant introduce us to the characters, Carmen Webb, Jewell Prescott and Regina Foster in their latest novel, Better Than I Know Myself. These three women come from very diverse backgrounds. After meeting in college their freshmen year at Columbia University a very unlikely friendship awaits the trio. Jewel, a child star, know for her role on the sitcom 'Daddy's Girl,' desperately wants a `normal¿ life and to accomplish two things. One is to get a college degree without all the hoopla surrounding her stardom, and the other is to get from under the thumb of her controlling stage mother. Regina is the upper-middle-class girl. Believing her parents to be the Black Ward and June Cleaver, Regina feels they expect her to be as perfect as her brothers. College is the escape to normalcy that she desperately craves. Finally, Carmen is just trying to survive. A child of the projects whose father was murdered and mother vanishes without a trace, Carmen is left to with her abusive brother. Columbia is her ticket to what she prays is a better life, if she can hold down two jobs and keep her GPA up. Throughout college and beyond, the trio is faced with the challenges of drug addiction, alcohol, fame, closely guarded secrets, illness, love, betrayal, and other things women face that will truly test the limitations of their friendships. Will their friendship be able to survive? How far will Regina's rebellious side take her? Will Carmen be able to let go of the past? What lies ahead for Jewell? Better Than I Know Myself is a novel of heartache, triumph, tears, and the impenetrable bonds of three sisterfriends. DeBerry and Grant reminds us that life is fragile, that tomorrow is not promised to anyone so we should live each day to the fullest.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2004

    True friendship is something you build together

    Better than I know myself is a novel where we meet 3 totally opposite sisters in search of something that leads them to college. Regina, the rebellious Carmen, the thrown away Jewel, the famous 'None of us are in this alone.' It took meeting the other one for the others to realize. From opposites end of the world to the same campus, a class here and there, to being roommates these three young women transcend in time and eventually grow as sisters. The relationship that the 5D roomies share is even deeper than that of birth sisters. For all the good, graduations, careers, tear jerking sad, shocking secrets, alcohol & cocaine addiction, cancer HIV & AIDS, child birth, adoptions, mental, sexual abuse, love present past & future, and ultimately the end. This dynamic duo DeBerry & Grant do it again in this novel with the time line, and the growth of the characters. I found myself laughing, and crying throughout the years with these women and I hated to get to the end. My eyes are still dripping wet. Only real friends can use this title cause it's only them who know you as well. This is a great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2004

    EXCELLENT BOOK

    I just finished the book and it was WONDERFUL. Well written with characters that you feel like you know personally. Very refreshing to read a story without the explicit sex, violence, jealously, etc found in so many of today's African American books. I highly recommend this book for readers of all ages. Very touching story.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews

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