Tuesday, September 26, 2006

[Book Review] YOU KNOW BETTER by Tina McElroy Ansa


Terrice Thomas reviews YOU KNOW BETTER by Tina McElroy Ansa (William Morrow, 2002):

The Peach Blossom Festival is upon the tiny town of Mulberry, but the Pines women have little reason for celebrating. LaShawndra, an 18-year-old, very promiscuous "hoochie mama" whose greatest aspiration is to dance in a music video, is in trouble again and has disappeared. Her mother, Sandra, is too busy with her career, her new romance and trying to look youthful to be concerned about LaShawndra. So it falls to Lily, the girl's grandmother, a respected pillar of the community, to try and find LaShawndra. But before the next day is over, each of the women will be visited by a guiding spirit and forced to face what they have been running from. With the help of divine intervention, these women are finally able to lovingly interact with one another as well as accept each other's shortcomings.

The book is written in first person with multiple points of view. The three Pines women take turns from oldest to youngest in detailing how they arrived at this latest crisis point and each has a "spirit" guide to help her out. The book gives a lot of history on the characters and the plot is slowly unveiled. The book suggests that most people already know what's wrong with their lives but may need some help to motivate them to fix their problems.

Terrice Thomas, LINC Department


Hey Terrice,
I've been trying to finish this book for a couple of months now (smile). I love Ms. Ansa's work, but the plot in this one seems to drag a bit. So far, what I like best is how Ansa shows how each generation is, in part, responsible for the short-comings of the next. Thanks for shining a light on this author and her work. Lori D.
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