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“A novel of love and resilience . . . [Butler] touches on the strength of relationships among women—be they mothers, mentors, or friends.” —National Women’s Review
“Butler’s second novel deals sensitively with the impact of domestic abuse on an African-American family and the choices made by a young woman dealing with issues of self-doubt while seeking acceptance in her relationships.” —Publishers Weekly
Praise for Sorority Sisters
“Not since Spike Lee’s School Daze and the much-loved sitcom A Different World has the Black experience on campus been this intriguing and, at times, funny.” —Essence
“Tajuana ‘TJ’ Butler scores big . . . an enjoyable page-turner.” —Honey
From the Hardcover edition.
At first glance, you couldn't find five women more different.
Catara is a personal shopper in New York who dreams of becoming a fashion designer. Embarrassed by her weight, she lets a lack of self-confidence derail her goals. In Atlanta, Lashawnda has gone from a string of bad relationships with men into one with a woman that doesn't seem much better. Elise is realizing her dream of opening up a gymnastics school in Louisville, Kentucky, but between working and taking care of her grandmother, she can't find much time to nurture herself. Tanya's relationship with her boyfriend is at the breaking point. She's ready to leave Chicago and fast city living to settle down and have a family, but her man isn't on the same page. Alecia lives in Los Angeles and has been getting by on her looks for a long time, but when her (married) boyfriend makes it clear that his wife comes first, she has to realize that beauty fades and she must prepare for her future.
But these women do have something in common—they all share the same birthday and are about to turn thirty. When the number one syndicated black radio show in the country sponsors a Night Before Thirty Getaway Weekend, these women meet, and while their time together is brief, the impact they have upon one another's lives is everlasting.
1. Catara remembers a time in her past when she felt beautiful and self-confident, What happened? She claims her weight is at fault, is she using it asan excuse?
2. Although winning the contest allows Catara, Lashawnda, Tanya, Alecia and Elise to escape for a weekend, each woman spends a lot of time thinking about her own past and future during the trip. Why is this? What is it about the weekend getaway that sparks this kind of thinking? What perspective do they gain about their lives?
3. Louisa asks each of the women to pick a question and share something about their own life to help everyone to get to know each other. Do their stories do more than this? What does each of the women learn from each other? About themselves?
4. Cicely helped turn Lashawnda's life around by giving her the education and ambition she might never have developed on her own. Did Cicely use her? Is Lashawnda really confused about her sexuality?
5. Nearly all the women approach their thirtieth birthday feeling as if they are missing something. What do each of the women want? What is it about turning 30 that makes people re-evaluate their lives?
6. Although Alecia seems to have it all, does she? What is she looking for in her men? What does her relationship with her younger sister reveal about herself?
7. One of the themes of Night Before Thirty is finding the strength to believe in yourself and your ability to succeed. What do each of the women realize about themselves during the cruise? How do you think their lives will change?
8. Of all the women, Elise seems to have it all together. She doesn't allow her disappointment with her athletic career to drive her away from gymnastics or into the arms of married man. Where does her strength and leadership come from? Why does she have such a hard time telling Allen how she really feels about him?
9. Tanya repeatedly involves herself with the wrong kind of men. Why? What effect did her experience with Steve have on her choices later on? Can her relationship with Chris succeed? Why does she want to move so badly?
10. What are some of the reasons Louisa chose each of the winners? How are the women alike? How are they different?
Posted October 28, 2005
I really do believe that many authors should either keep tape recorders on them or eavesdrop on everyday conversation, because Ms. Butler is not the first author I've read who has unrealistic conversation. No one says things like '...I was thinking that maybe we could grab a bite to eat afterward and continue the engaging conversation we began on the plane.' This was the type of wordplay throughout the whole book and I spent more time rolling my eyes than I did reading. I am usually driven to dialogue first, but in this case, I wish the author would've just told the story in biography format. The back stories of the 'Questions' were so interesting (minus Lashawnda's Braces Story...that was wack! Her snide comment to her ex-girlfriend was very gross...ugh!), and William's pay-off was ABSOLUTELY UNREALISTIC. I think the author kinda played her readers for suckers because this book ended too happily-ever-after for me.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 20, 2003
This book was a typical kind of book. I really enjoyed it. I loved all the charcters in the book. I want to know how did all their final choices work out. Geat readWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 27, 2003
Posted June 11, 2003
This book is a must read for ALL women. I enjoyed it because the lessons learned could be understood regardless of your age. As women we are constantly learning and the learning does not begin at 30 and that is what Ms. Butler is trying to let all of us know. I am almost 30 and although there were 5 women in this book who seemed totally different in the beginning, by the end of the book you realize that they are all more similar than you thought and oddly enough, you can relate to each of them on some level. So although 30 is very symbolic for a woman, you don't have to be a 29 year old woman to relate to this book. So buy this book and share it with your female friends and family. Better yet, help a great author out and buy a couple of copies and give it to a couple of friends as a good read for the summer. I guarantee you that no matter their age, they will enjoy this book. Good Job, Ms. Butler! You did it again!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 27, 2003
'The Night Before Thirty' is a wonderful book that shows the need to embrace and understand the lessons in life in order to grow and become strengthened by them. Tajuana Butler shows the lessons of five strong, intelligent, beautiful and spirited women that come from different backgrounds whose personal experiences lead them on a spiritual rewarding journey. a journey where women learn to embrace and love who they are individually so they can be loved in return and fulfill their goals. the characters of this lovely novel will remain with you long after you're done. you'll see a little of you and your friends in one if not all of the characters in this book. i highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to read something fun and uplifting.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 7, 2003
This book addressed so many different topics from being overweight to being in unhealthy relationships. I read her book Sor. Sisters and it was good but this was great. A more grown up approach of what's going on for todays African American sister.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 20, 2003
This book was great (as good as Sor. Sisters). It gave 5 different matters that women face daily from being overweight to unstable relationships. Very well written and detailed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.