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Playing My Mother's Blues
     

Playing My Mother's Blues

3.3 3
by Valerie Wilson Wesley
 

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Dani Carter was seven years old — her sister, Rose, seventeen — when their beautiful, impetuous mother, Maria, walked out of their lives, abandoning her husband and family for a love affair. Over the decades that followed, Dani has married a successful man and given birth to a wonderful son. But love has long been missing from her marriage, propelling her

Overview

Dani Carter was seven years old — her sister, Rose, seventeen — when their beautiful, impetuous mother, Maria, walked out of their lives, abandoning her husband and family for a love affair. Over the decades that followed, Dani has married a successful man and given birth to a wonderful son. But love has long been missing from her marriage, propelling her into the arms of another and inspiring troubling thoughts of escape. The sins of the mother, Dani fears, have been visited upon the daughter.

Now that she finds herself in a similar heartbreaking situation, Dani can't help but wonder who Maria really was. It's a puzzle that may soon be completed, after a lifetime of searching for missing pieces. Maria, calling herself Mariah, is about to reenter her daughters' worlds, bearing secrets and bitter truths . . . and, perhaps, long-awaited answers to what could possibly drive a mother to sacrifice what was dearest to her heart.

Playing My Mother's Blues

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“A heartwarming tale.”
Black Issues Book Review
“A richly told narrative of a sister who discovers that ripeness is all.”
Washington Post Book World
“[Tamara Hayle] has a way with a wisecrack that is postively lethal.”
Emerge
“an absorbing family saga.”
Denver Post on Tamara Hayle
“A wonderfully believable and independent sleuth who combines intellect and intuition, sexiness and self-control.”
Houston Chronicle on Tamara Hayle
“An engangin heroine—-smart, sexy, tough but tender.”
Boston Herald on Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do
“Outstanding. . . . A warm, witty comedy of midlife manners.”
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Wesley is in high form in this contemporary story about mother-daughter relationships in an African-American family. When she was in her 30s, Mariah had an affair that led to her leaving her husband and two daughters. Several months later, she shot her lover and spent time in prison for his murder. Now Rose and Dani are grown, and she has just read of her ex-husband's death. Desperate to make peace with her children after all these years, she makes plans to attend the funeral. Meanwhile, her daughters have spent their lives trying to come to terms with their mother's desertion. The choices that they have made in their relationships reflect both the influence of their Aunt Lucille, who raised them, and the lingering memories of Mariah. When the three women meet again, long-buried issues are brought to the surface and change each of their lives in ways they could not have anticipated. Told from the perspectives of Mariah, Rose, Dani, and Lucille, the story is rich and compelling, and much more complex than it appears on the surface. Interwoven into the tale are themes of racial relationships and the drug culture of the '60s and '70s. The characters are totally believable in their various combinations of grace and flaws. Readers will identify with the struggles of these women to define themselves, rather than letting their circumstances define them.-Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Library System, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Houston Chronicle
“An engangin heroine---smart, sexy, tough but tender.”
Denver Post
“A wonderfully believable and independent sleuth who combines intellect and intuition, sexiness and self-control.”
Boston Herald
“Outstanding. . . . A warm, witty comedy of midlife manners.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060890056
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/13/2006
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
713,411
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Valerie Wilson Wesley is the author of the novels Always True to You in My Fashion and Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do, winner of the 2000 Best Fiction Award of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, as well as the nationally bestselling Tamara Hayle mystery series. A contributing editor at Essence magazine, her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Ms. and the New York Times. She lives in New Jersey.

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Playing My Mother's Blues 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I DISAGREE WITH SOME OF THE OTHERS READERS ABOUT THIS STORY. I FELT THE STORY WAS VERY INTERESTING, IT WAS NOT BORING TO ME. IT SHOWS HOW HISTORY HAS A WAY OF REPEATING ITSELF SOMETIMES IN FAMILIES. IT DEALT WITH STRUGGLE, AND SO CALL LOVE. IT ALSO DEALS WITH REGRETS AND BROKEN PROMISES. THE STORY WAS VERY POWERFUL, AND I WAS ABLE TO WALK AWAY WITH ALOT TO THINK ABOUT, REGARDING MY FAMILY. I FEEL THAT THE STORY ENDED IN A WAY WHERE THERE COULD BE A BOOK II. I SAY IT IS WORTH A READ.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Impetuous Maria left her spouse Hilton Dells for Durell Alexander. However, when she walked out on Hilton and became Mariah, she also abandoned her daughters seven year old Dani Carter and seventeen year old Rose. However, several months after she deserted her family for a love affair, the hotheaded Mariah killed her lover. She spent time in jail for the homicide while Hilton¿s sister Lucille raised her nieces especially the ¿baby¿.---------------- Maria reads an obit that Hilton just died. Whereas Dani overcame the betrayal, but remains curious about the woman she remembers filled with élan Rose has always acted as if their mom died years ago. Now the death of Hilton has brought to the surface the one guilt that Maria has tried to bury, abandoning her children. She wants to reconcile with them. Dani needs to understand her mom as she finds herself following her mother¿s path being marred with children, but having an affair. Rose, raging with rancor, wants nothing to do with the woman whose leaving devastated her. Lucille wants her former sister-in-law to stay away from her nieces. These four women meet ostensibly to bury Hilton but to exhume the past.------------------------ The viewpoint constantly switches mostly between Mariah, Rose, and Dani, and to a much lesser degree Lucille so that the audience sees the same incident from dissimilar perspectives. For instance what seems like a molehill to Maria is Mt. Everest to Rose as each looks back to the late 1960s early 1970s differently. The fine character study enables the audience to understand how a pivotal event over two decades ago still fully impacts the players. Though at times the introspection can slow down the plot, fans will enjoy this family drama starring believable protagonists struggling to understand one another.------------------- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
Good storyline but not well written. It was kinda slow and boring. The ending left you hanging.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think the story could have been told, even ehanced upon, without being so 'wordy'. Also, 'Dee' from 'What's happening!' was not 'Rerun's' sister, she was 'Roger's' sister.