Affluent African-Americans are the protagonists of this entertaining novel, a gossipy tell-all that goes behind the scenes of suburban life to reveal the secrets of the inhabitants of Silver Lake, an exclusive enclave of Prince George's County, a Washington, D.C., suburb. Through the eyes of five women, readers learn that even in this so-called exclusive community, residents are still fighting to be judged for who they are rather than what "class of society" they represent. Barbara, the grand dame of Silver Lake, is a recovering alcoholic married to Bradford Bently III, multimillionaire and womanizer. She's struggling to regain her self-confidence and to save her 30-year marriage. Jolene, married to hardworking Patrick, is a high-ranking civil servant blinded by revenge and greed and willing to do whatever it takes to move up the social ladder. Pearl, a divorc e, is a successful beauty-shop owner, living on the outskirts of the community. Candice is an aging white flower child, living with her second husband and two daughters and coming to grips with an old family secret that, if revealed, may tear her family apart. Lee, a runaway teenager, looking for a father who doesn't know she exists, comes to Silver Lake armed with one clue, the nickname Smokey. Though the story is a stereotypical smalltown drama, Briscoe (Sisters and Lovers) uses her skill as a talented storyteller to deliver just the right touch of intrigue. Author tour. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Best-selling author Briscoe (Big Girls Don't Cry) presents a comic satire on the African American upper crust of Prince George County, MD. The lives of five very different women are dramatically revealed in a complex story of love, lust, and dirty secrets. Barbara's gorgeous husband, Bradford, is ready for another affair after his mistress drives her car into his daughter's wedding reception. Jolene is ready to add him to her first string of lovers, while her husband, Patrick, has just met Pearl, a woman he can really love. Pearl is Barbara's hairdresser and Kenyatta's mother. Kenyatta is in love with a white girl named Ashley, whose mother, Candice, is horrified. Then there's the mysterious Lee, running from a bad life toward an unknown sugar daddy in Prince George County. The author demonstrates consummate skill as she reels the characters into a hilarious denouement. Unfortunately, the wooden dialog and mannered speech ("Puh-lease!" and "I am so not hearing this") detract from the reader's delight in watching the rich and ridiculous expose themselves. Still, this book is worth a laugh at the beach. Recommended where Briscoe's books are popular. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/02.] Jennifer Baker, Seattle P.L. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Adult/High School-Prince George's County, MD, adjacent to the nation's capital and one of America's most affluent majority African-American counties, is the backdrop to this novel. The main characters live in the exclusive, gated Silver Lake community. They include Barbara, the long-suffering wife of a womanizing self-made millionaire; Jolene, a sexy, materialistic government executive who seeks to replace her husband with a wealthier, more ambitious man; and Candice, a white, aging hippie whose daughter, Ashley, is dating Kenyatta, a young black man. Candice opposes her daughter's dating outside of her race, and Kenyatta's mother, a hardworking divorc e whose husband had abandoned them to marry a white woman, is equally against her son's choice. Lee is an abused, runaway teen whose life collides violently with the opulent world of Silver Lake in her desperate search for her father, whom she has never met. One subplot gives an unexpected 21st-century spin on the "tragic mulatto" literary theme of the early 20th century. Teens who have read James Weldon Johnson's The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (Vintage, 1989) or Charles Chestnutt's "The Wife of His Youth" might find it interesting to compare the significance of racial identification explored in those works to its importance here. Fans of Terry McMillan and E. Lynn Harris will also enjoy this novel.-Joyce Fay Fletcher, Rippon Middle School, Prince William County, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Schemers and sluts in Prince George County. Anyone who can walk the walk and talk the talk can shine in the upscale black enclave of Maryland's Silver Lake. Long as they got the money or credit, that is-or so says Pearl, a hairdresser who struggled and saved for years to move into the neighborhood and get her son Kenyatta into the right schools. But now that Kenyatta's grown, he can't seem to get it together, and he's even dating a white girl, to Pearl's dismay. Well, worse things happen: Barbara, the alcoholic wife of self-made software millionaire Bradford Bentley III, swallows her pride and about a fifth of vodka every day because her husband cheats. At the moment, he's sneaking out to see Jolene, the ambitious, wayward daughter of a judge, who's looking to dump her cheapskate husband Patrick for someone richer. Back to Kenyatta's white girlfriend: her mother, Candice Jones, has been tracing her family's ancestry on the library microfiches and is aghast to discover that some were listed on old census records with a capital M on the line for race. As in mulatto. So she's not really white, and neither is her daughter! What's a card-carrying liberal like Candice going to do? Well, not announce the amazing news, that's for sure. Segue to the 'hood, where 16-year-old Lee runs away and becomes a prostitute after a brutal rape at the hands of her uncle Clive. Life on the streets soon palls, and her nasty pimp is threatening to beat her up. Lee, undaunted, has high hopes of finding her real daddy, and she has a clue: he lives in Silver Lake. All is resolved during a gun-waving finale at Jolene's posh party. Designer names and hackneyed plot can't liven up this tawdry, uninspired soaper fromthe author of Big Girls Don't Cry (1996), etc. Author tour
“A big, dishy page-turner that will intrigue, amuse, and captivate.”
–E. LYNN HARRIS
Author of A Love of My Own
“With P.G. County, Connie Briscoe has outdone herself. She has brought us lives that are too often ignored.”
Black Elegance magazine and Jones Media Network
“AN ENTERTAINING ROMP . . . THOROUGHLY AND DELIGHTFULLY ENJOYABLE . . . Briscoe paints a vivid picture of the haves, the have-nots, and the gonna-gets, as they mix and mingle in this social jambalaya. . . . [Her] quick wit and obvious love of language shine brightly in this twisted tale.”
–Black Issues Book Review
“SOAP OPERA AT ITS BEST.”
“Engaging . . . Prince George’s County, Maryland, [is] one of the wealthiest enclaves in the U.S. and a breeding ground for juicy characters.”
–Today’s Black Woman
“[P.G. County] bubbles over with enough dirty dealings to fuel a season’s worth of soap operas . . . Drama ensues for one and all.”
“A comic satire . . . The lives of five very different women are dramatically revealed in a complex story of love, lust, and dirty secrets. . . . The author demonstrates consummate skill as she reels the characters into a hilarious denouement.”
“Entertaining . . . A gossipy tell-all that goes behind the scenes of suburban life to reveal the secrets of the inhabitants of Silver Lake . . . Briscoe uses her skill as a talented storyteller to deliver just the right touch of intrigue.”