Shoes on the Otha' Foot

Hunter Hayes, Author, Brandi C. Green, Editor
Hunter Hayes, Author, Brandi C. Green, Editor Stone Edge Press $12.95 (248p) ISBN 978-0-9666435-7-2
Reviewed on: 11/30/1998
Release date: 12/01/1998
Mass Market Paperbound - 320 pages - 978-0-06-101466-6
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With just the right amount of attitude, the characters of Hayes's debut novel come of age in present-day Harlem. The virginal Leslie, 21, juggles a job as an apartment manager, night classes in TV production and her attraction to 35-year-old building contractor Benjamin. Their affair is complicated by the woman Benjamin lives with, and by his 13-year-old son, Kareem. Leslie's best friend, Rachelle, on the other hand, is a 35-year-old divorcee trying to care for her three young children and to conduct relationships with two men: Anthony, an underemployed Romeo who's just barely legal to drink, and Eustace, a married man. Rachelle slowly recognizes her financial and psychic dependence on men and begins to turn her life around, while Leslie comes to the brink of losing her sense of self-respect before regaining her equanimity. Hayes narrates with admirable clarity, alternating between his central characters' distinctive voices. Unpretentious and honest, if unpolished in parts, this first novel is blessedly free of vulgar tough-talk and dysfunctional baggage. (Jan.)
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