cover image Gonna Lay Down My Burdens

Gonna Lay Down My Burdens

Mary Monroe. Kensington Publishing Corporation, $24 (384pp) ISBN 978-1-57566-911-3

Mary Monroe's Gonna Lay Down My Burdens opens with a bang, when Carmen Taylor intervenes in a violent lovers' quarrel between her friends Chester and Desiree, and Chester winds up dead. Most of the novel is told in flashback, following Carmen and Chester's ill-fated attraction to one another, which began when they were teenagers. It traces the friendship between Carmen and troubled Desiree, as well as Carmen's relationship with Burl, a boy she tried to use to make Chester jealous, with disastrous and long-lasting results. Monroe (God Don't Like Ugly) will surely return to the Blackboard bestseller list with this title, a standout among similar offerings. National advertising; 8-city author tour.