June 11, 2010
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If This World Were Mine, by E. Lynn Harris
This is the first book of Harris’ that I have read. I knew very little of the author, save for the fact that he was black gay writer who last year died of heart disease.
Last December, I was perusing the shelves of Lambda Rising, as they were preparing to close their doors. Not because of the bad economy, mind you. Deacon Maccubbin, the owner, had decided that after 35 years it was time for retirement. They were selling everything at deep discounts. I stumbled on three books by Harris, and thought I would give him a read. I typically don’t read fiction, but wanted an escape from all things historical or political.
Boy was I in for a treat! Harris writes with a style that invites you in. You start to feel the characters as they interact with each other and react to events which are thrust upon them.
At 318 pages, it’s an easy read. When I turned the last page, one singular thought came to mind – Tyler Perry needs to make this movie! Save for the lack of the Madea character, this story would be right up his alley.
The story begins with the twenty year reunion of four graduates from Hampton University, an HBCU. They decide to create a journal-writing group that would meet once a month. It continues with their lives, both individually and intertwined. There is laughter, plenty of conflict, with physical and emotional pain, only to crescendo to a delightful and august finish.
The one think I absolutely love about the book and the style with which Harris writes, is that he makes you laugh and then cry in the blink of an eye.
I most definitely recommend this book.