Friday, March 25, 2011

#BookReview: We Ain't the Brontes - Rosalyn McMillan

Does the title of the book refer to the characters in the book or the author and her famous sister? Frankly, it's hard to tell and by the time you finish this book, if you're able to, you probably won't even care.

We Ain't the Brontes is the story of authors Charity Lavender Evans and her more famous sister, Lynzee Lavender.  While Charity is all love and light, Lynzee is hell on wheels and she's determined to make her sister's life miserable.

Ok, so that's the premise of the book, now let's get into the ridiculousness of it all and why you shouldn't waste your time on it:

  1. Repetitive scenes - I swear on a stack of card catalogs that some scenes were repeated no less than three times, causing me to go back to the initial scene to make sure I wasn't just imagining things.  So Lynzee plays Jedi mind games with Charity, Charity gets upset, Lynzee calls back and says, "I'm just playin'!" and Charity is all "My sister really loves me." And then 50 pages later, it happens again.
  2. Know your character - So not only does Charity play a doormat to Lynzee, she also plays one to her husband.  So you're a doormat, fine, whatever.  But don't get steel in your spine in chapter 27 and then turnaround in chapter 28 and you're back to being a doormat like your "Ain't I A Woman" speech never happened.
  3. If you're going to incorporate real people into your story, get your facts straight - In the opening pages, Charity is attending an awards show with Lynzee and they see Denzel Washington and his wife, Juanita.  Except Denzel's wife's name is Pauletta.  You know whose wife is named Juanita? Michael Jordan (well ex-wife, but whatevs).  So either the male character was originally Jordan and McMillan forgot to change the wife's name later or she really doesn't know who Denzel is married to and in the day of Google, um, really?
  4. What in the entire All My Children hell is this? By now I'm assuming that you're not going to read this book anyway, but if you plan to, skip this part because I have a spoiler for you.  Now Charity and her husband Jett have been married for 30 years, but Jett and Lynzee slept together before Jett hooked up with Charity.  Jett and Lynzee had a daughter that Jett and Charity never knew about because Lynzee gave it up for adoption. Following so far?  So then Lynzee tells Charity that if she (Charity) doesn't tell Jett about the child that she (Lynzee) had with Jett, she'll tell him herself.  My reaction as I read it? AND SO? Charity and Jett were headed for divorce anyway, so #1 why should she care about his love child with Lynzee and #2 how does it become Charity's problem for Lynzee to hold over her head?
Like I said, this book was just ridiculous.  Every other chapter was either Lynzee and Charity fighting and making up or Charity and Jett fighting and making up.  The most interesting thing I can say about this book is it left me wondering how much of the story line was true as it relates to the McMillan sisters themselves.

What did you like about this book?

What didn't you like about this book?

What could the author do to improve this book?
There was a time when Rosalyn McMillan wrote fairly decent books.  I'm not sure if the wide gap between her last book and this one was a factor or if a change in publishers caused this one to be so poorly written, edited and lacking.  At any rate, she would do well to go back to whatever formula worked for her before because this isn't it.

Published February 2011


Theme: My Mistake Was to Love You by Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye

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