Long Goodbyes

Nikki Baker, Author Naiad Press $9.95 (235p) ISBN 978-1-56280-042-0
A rollicking story, part murder mystery, is sparked by Virginia Kelly's return to her midwest hometown for Christmas and a high school reunion. Confrontations with family and friends start peeling back the past and the homophobic, hypocritical veneer coating the town. Virginia is African American, sexy and gay. Her unresolved first love, Rosey Paschen, is white and an emotional danger zone when they meet again ten years later. Virginia discovers that others have also crossed into that zone, including her married friends Andre and Sandra. The couple sit in Virginia's parents' home like a ``negro Norman Rockwell Christmas card'' talking about the need for educated African Americans to have children to counterbalance the offspring of welfare mothers. Even though Andre and Sandra are upheld by Virginia's parents as role models of the life they'd like her to have, she soon cuts through their facade. Zigzagging between sleazy motels and malls filled with piped Christmas carols, Virginia also resolves some unexplained deaths. Baker's ( In the Game ) sharp wit and marvelous ability to read meaning in mundane domestic details add zest to her tongue-in-cheek style. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
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