cover image A Million Blessings

A Million Blessings

Marilynn Griffith, Angela Benson, Tia McCollors, . . Kensington/Dafina, $14 (298pp) ISBN 978-0-7582-4211-2

Three popular African-American novelists address the topic of sudden prosperity in novellas that each feature characters winning the lottery, a popular fantasy for millions— disproportionately in hardscrabble neighborhoods—about acquiring millions. Benson presents Andrew Gooden, an assistant pastor with a hidden gambling problem. Griffith’s story centers on pro football player Craig Richards, who loses his career, trophy wife, and palatial home following an injury. McCollors creates motorcycle-riding Dara Knight, whose lottery win fuels her dream of refurbishing the dilapidated neighborhood where she does outreach for her church. Each writer offers nice touches of observation or dialogue that move things along in brisk and clever ways. All three offer traditional Christian ways of thinking about character redemption, using an unsubtle approach to painting the moral to these stories about how to use money. Benson and Griffith write with more satisfying arcs of resolution; McCollors’s tale just gets going as it ends. The work feels somewhat hasty, but fans will like it. (Mar.)