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Plenty Good Room

Plenty Good Room

4.2 4
by Cheri Paris Edwards

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When child care worker Tamara Britton is asked to temporarily take 14-year-old foster child Sienna Larson into her home, she agrees--but only because it's temporary. Soon, Tamara finds the outspoken, churchgoing teenager to be almost more than she can bear. Yet, despite herself, Tamara begins to open her heart as well as her home. Now, through the bond she forms with


When child care worker Tamara Britton is asked to temporarily take 14-year-old foster child Sienna Larson into her home, she agrees--but only because it's temporary. Soon, Tamara finds the outspoken, churchgoing teenager to be almost more than she can bear. Yet, despite herself, Tamara begins to open her heart as well as her home. Now, through the bond she forms with Sienna, Tamara begins to awaken to newfound truths about herself, her family history, and God--and learns that no matter what the circumstances are, God is in control of not just some things, but of all things.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The protagonist of this debut novel is Tamara Britton, a reserved, devoted child welfare worker. The 30-something's quiet, tidy life is turned upside-down when her boss asks her to temporarily take in a foul-mouthed teen runaway named Sienna. During this stint as a foster mom, Tamara has to supervise homework, discuss teenage sexuality and wade into the murky world of pop culture. She is also motivated to put together some of the pieces of her own interrupted childhood and travels to prisons and hospitals in search of birth parents she never knew. Edwards richly develops the novel's characters, especially those who play supporting parts. Tamara's outrageous friend and colleague, Lynette, is a hoot, and Lynette and Tamara's sharply dressed but racist boss is well drawn. Still, the novel is far from perfect. The two plots Tamara and Sienna's relationship, and Tamara's own childhood tie together at the end, but the connections require coincidences that strain credulity. The stock features of CBA fiction are all predictably there: Tamara, who has never dated, is suddenly wooed by two fine men. And she not only finds love but also her faith at a church altar call. This contribution to the flourishing field of African-American Christian fiction is promising, though it also suffers from first-timer flaws. (Apr. 20) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
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Hachette Digital, Inc.
File size:
430 KB

Read an Excerpt

Plenty Good Room

By Cheri Paris Edwards

Warner Books

Copyright © 2005 Cheri Paris Edwards
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-57647-6

Chapter One


The girl looked worriedly up into the dark sky when she heard the first roar of rolling thunder. The thick humidity weighing down the night air foretold the coming storm, and with one hand she reached under the old baseball cap she wore, and wiped beads of moisture from her forehead. With a frown, she impatiently looked again at the traffic light, waiting for it to change so she could cross the busy street.

"Hey there, girl, what you know good?" a gravelly male voice said from behind her. The man seemed to have appeared from nowhere, and when the girl felt his feathery-light touch on her elbow, she turned to look at him. His shadowed features seemed ominous to her. Her surprise swiftly changed to fear once she saw the red-rimmed, faded brown eyes of the old white man. With a gasp, her mouth fell open, and she shuddered at his wide grin with its many dark gaps where his teeth should have been.

Truly scared now, the girl quickly pulled in her elbow, and in her haste to escape the gray-haired man, she began to step into the crosswalk, with no thought of the oncoming traffic. Right at that very moment, as if in answer to her need to cross the busy intersection, the red Walk light changed to green and she took off across the street. Without one glance backward, she began to run, darting in and out of the crowds of people walking down the avenue. She ran faster and faster.

Suddenly a huge fork of lightning split the dark sky directly in front of her, and the steamy night was lit brightly for a moment. Then, seconds later, an explosively loud clap of thunder shook the ground, followed by low rumblings in the distance, which only added to her alarm. The smell of the imminent spring rain wafted into her nostrils. Sensing that the downpour would begin at any moment, she instinctively began to look for shelter.

Ahead, the girl spied a small alleyway, and with a quick, furtive glance over her shoulder to assure herself that she wasn't being followed, she disappeared into the darkness of the alley. She gathered several pieces of heavy, stiff cardboard scattered around a large metal trash bin in the alleyway, along with some thick plastic and a large corrugated box. Quickly she built herself a makeshift shelter in an area behind the garbage container.

Moments later, in response to the howling wind, she huddled in the corner of the box and tucked her head between her knees. The rain started to pummel her shelter. Her small body was paralyzed with fear, at least until another loud thunderclap caused her to jump involuntarily. When the heavy rain finally began to drip into her cardboard coverings, she could be brave no longer. Tears began to fall one by one from her eyes, and she sobbed from fear and frustration.

The girl's thoughts wandered back to the home she'd left behind, and to what he had tried to do to her before she ran away tonight, and suddenly her tears flowed even more profusely-only now she cried from anger, too. Forgetting about the storm, the girl harshly wiped her wet eyes and her runny nose, and as she rubbed her damp hands on her pant legs, she vowed aloud, "I don't care what I have to go through-I will never go back there again! Never!"


Excerpted from Plenty Good Room by Cheri Paris Edwards Copyright © 2005 by Cheri Paris Edwards. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

CHERI PARIS EDWARDS lives in Rantoul, Illinois.

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Plenty Good Room 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Net23 More than 1 year ago
This is a good book. I read it on an airplane to the mid west. It was obvious she has worked in the system. Keeo on writing. It was an easy read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought it was a good book. Kind of slow at some points but still worth reading.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Springfield, Illinois caring professional Tamara Britton works diligently at her job in the Child Protective Unit¿s Stabilization Section of Care for Kids Agency. However, she hides from her friends, peers and clients her desire to learn about her own roots behind a façade of control. Her world is nuked when her friend field worker Lynnette Moore asks her to take in fourteen year old runaway Miss Sienna ¿mouthy¿ Larson. --- The out of control teen misbehaves constantly leaving Tamara with a big headache as to what to do with the recalcitrant sassy ¿Little Miss Thang¿. She also finds the ¿housepitality¿ border gets Tamara to finally look into her own past as the kid has hammered at her protective barrier forcing the anger and discontent of the adult to surface. Tamara is at a crossroads of letting go or rebuilding her battlement. --- This is a strong look at the dangerous life of a teen runaway as Sienna steals the show with her mouth that never rests although Tamara is the fully developed star. The story line is driven by their relationship but changing perspectives jolts the plot. Still readers will enjoy this fine inspirational tale as Sienna in her street sass style teaches Tamara that caring for someone else and oneself is not only okay but encouraged by the Lord. --- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
In ¿Plenty Good Room¿, Edwards has written a sweet, funny, sad, and somewhat mysterious story. Almost immediately, you¿re caught up in the storyline, wondering what will happen next and not able to turn the pages fast enough! The story between characters, Tamara and Sienna is tough to read at times due to Sienna¿s `jump off the page, in your face, bad attitude'. Seeing the two of them in action, makes me applaud any person willing to take in a complete stranger and change the scope of their life in such magnitude. Finally, the climax leading to the end definitely held surprises. The downer was that the end came too soon, and left me wanting more!