Until...

Timmothy B. McCann, Author
Timmothy B. McCann, Author Avon Books $12 (272p) ISBN 978-0-380-80579-2
Reviewed on: 05/31/1999
Release date: 06/01/1999
Mass Market Paperbound - 288 pages - 978-0-380-81371-1
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In a formulaic rehash of the current model for contemporary African-American commercial fiction, McCann's first novel follows a pair of black characters searching for true love to complete their otherwise successful lives. Amid a backdrop of sentimental pop ballads, hip designer names and lush romantic settings, protagonist Betty Anne Robinson, the only female African-American attorney at a powerful law firm in Gainesville, Fla., finds her life is becoming increasingly stressful. Her promising future at the prestigious firm is jeopardized by the sudden illness of her mentor and the rise to prominence of a racist associate with a special disdain for blacks. Betty's boyfriend, Evander, appears to be a standard ""nice guy"" until he is revealed to be a heartless lout out to scam her cash. A college buddy, Jacqui, entertains Betty with continuing commentary on the gender wars, a diatribe that quickly turns tawdry and stale. However, love comes unexpectedly for Betty through an Internet exchange with Andrew Patrick Staley, an African-American businessman with matinee idol looks and a heart still broken over the deceit of his late girlfriend, which she revealed in a letter she left on her deathbed. Although the inevitable happy ending for Betty and Drew may satisfy some readers, others will find the novel undermined by its predictable plot, stock characters and awkward development. (June)
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