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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
E. Lynn Harris has already made publishing history. No black male novelist has ever before sold as many copies of his book as quickly as Harris has. With a nine-week stay on The New York Times bestseller list last year and appearances on bestseller lists across the nation, his third novel, And This Too Shall Pass, put Harris on the top of everyone's must-read list.
Now, with more than a half-million copies of his three novels in print, comes If This World Were Mine. This fourth work is a deft exploration of the ever-changing landscape of friendship among human beings, and in Harris's inimitable style, it reveals the story of a friendship that can — and must — survive the test of time and conflict in order to flourish.
Yolanda, Leland, Riley, and Dwight share a deep friendship forged in earlier years at Hampton University. In monthly reunions set in their hometown of Chicago, the friends enjoy evenings of gossip, companionship, and laughter and often discuss private entries in their personal diaries as well as what they have written in their collective journal, which they call "If This World Were Mine."
But after five years, the bonds of friendship are weakening, and the group must confront the challenges of work, lost love, and the affecting presence of a sexy stranger: gray-eyed John Basil Henderson, a character eerily haunted by his past. As the group members confront their true feelings toward each other, resentments and long-held secrets surface, and the stability of the group begins to falter. The disintegration of thesecomplexfriendships is halted by the specter of death, which forces the friends to recognize and accept the inner strength that they, as a group, have nurtured in each other.
In this as in all of his novels, Harris never ceases to remind us that life, like love, is about self-acceptance. In this vivid portrait of contemporary black life, with all its pressures and the complications of bisexuality, AIDS, and racism, Harris confirms a faith in the power of love — love of all kinds — to thrill and to heal, which will warm the hearts of readers everywhere.