cover image Warm Hands

Warm Hands

Margaret Johnson-Hodge. St. Martin's Press, $6.99 (276pp) ISBN 978-0-312-97293-6

Traveling the same ground as Terry McMillan, this latest from Johnson-Hodge (The Real Deal) follows the travails and transformation of a strong but self-sabotaging African-American woman. At 35, Mya Williams is barely over her romance with a seductive loser named Vincent when she meets Jeff, a successful young architect. They've scheduled the wedding when Mya finds herself unable to resist one final tryst with her sexy ex. In the aftermath, a shell-shocked Mya--now dumped by both Vincent and Jeff--is forced to examine her soul, her sexual cravings and her self-destructive neediness. Pondering the collapse of her life and the fragmentation--at once funny and painful--of her family, Mya attains a peaceful self-reliance and finds her true soul mate along the way. Mya's metamorphosis from madcap confusion to a nearly saintly level of self-actualization is too seamless to ring true, and--as is so often the case--her tale is far more fun before her conversion than after it. Still, Johnson-Hodge offers a sassy and often endearing story. (Mar.)