"How do you know I read?" I asked. I never talked about books to anyone except my therapist and that one arrogant literature professor."
"Theon told me. I asked him did he get jealous with you havin' sex with all those young men and he said that it was only the books made him turn green. He said that he always felt like he was about to lose you when you were lookin' in a book."Synopsis: In this scorching, mournful, often explicit, and never less than moving literary novel by the famed creator of the Easy Rawlins series, Debbie Dare, a black porn queen, has to come to terms with her sordid life in the adult entertainment industry after her tomcatting husband dies in a hot tub. Electrocuted. With another woman in there with him. Debbie decides she just isn't going to "do it anymore." But executing her exit strategy from the porn world is a wrenching and far from simple process.
Review: Much like other characters created by Walter Mosley, such as Easy Rawlins, Socrates Fortlaw or Leonid McGill, Debbie Dare is on a journey to change who she is. No longer satisfied with performing in front of the camera for millions to enjoy at home, she makes the decision to walk away from the world of porn.
While I was fascinated with her calculated ways, there was nothing distinctly feminine about Debbie. Had Mosley not given her the name of Debbie or assigned a gender, I could have very well been reading about one of his male characters that I mentioned earlier. I can't recall if this is the first book Mosley has approached from the female point of view, but my other thought is that perhaps he didn't mean to make her so masculine, but more unfeeling. You would imagine that in Debbie's world, she's seen and come across a lot of unsavory characters and situations. So perhaps the cold and unfeeling attitude that she affects is not a masculine one, but one of someone that has simply seen too much and is unfazed by things that would prompt reaction from others. That's not to say Debbie is completely unfeeling. She has a great deal of affection and respect for her doctor and another gentleman she becomes acquainted with following Theon's death. More than anything, she keeps her distance from those she isn't sure she can trust.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I felt like the ending was somewhat rushed after dragging out the time between Theon's death and the actual funeral. I'd be much more interested in reading about what post-porn Debbie is up to these days.
Published: May 2014
Disclaimer: Copy of book received from publisher, opinions are my own.