Reviewer: Amy Lignor
Title: Long Time Coming
Author: Vanessa Miller
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Release Date: October 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Inspirational Fiction
Year/Setting: Present day, Dayton Ohio
Overall Rating: 2.0
Sexual Content Rating: Sexual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Extreme
Violent Content Rating: Intense
Vanessa's Website/Blog: www.vanessamiller.com
Let me preface this review with the fact that my idea of inspirational fiction is nowhere near this author’s idea of inspirational fiction. The tagline on this book is: Two women from different worlds find hope together. Hope is not the word I would use to define any of the scenes in this book.
Deidre Clark is walking down the aisle to her beloved, as we begin our story. The groom is Private Johnson Morris, a career military man dreaming of the day when he can be like his hero, General Colin Powell. Deidre’s mother, Loretta, asks that her daughter not cover her face with a veil, simply because when a woman does this she believes that the bride is hiding her secrets behind that veil, and, apparently, Deidre has some secrets.
Kenisha Smalls is a woman who has beyond bad luck. She has three children, from three different men who severely hurt her and broke her heart. In fact, her current ex likes to show up every first of the month to take money from her welfare check in order to buy crack. Now, Kenisha loves her kids more than life, but she’s in a state of constant fear at the moment because it’s been discovered that she has cancer. Because of all the pain and agony she’s been through, she believes she somehow deserves all this – being that she was the one who convinced her sister long ago to run back to the man who eventually killed her. Kenisha’s pain, as far as she’s concerned, is her atonement for that sin.
Another one of her sisters babysits her kids; this sister is a real jerk. All she cares about is becoming an actress and hitting it big. She could care less about Kenisha’s children – not to mention her own kids – and is beyond lazy. Kenisha’s mother is also a huge sleaze. (Although, of course, they all want forgiveness at the end). A long time ago one of Mom’s many boyfriends raped young Kenisha when she was only six years old.
Kenisha meets up with Deidre Clark one day because her sister – the lazy one – forgot to pick her youngest son up at school while Kenisha was at the hospital getting a radiation treatment. Deidre is the principal of the school and took the young boy home with her because no parent had appeared. When Kenisha finally gets to her house, Deidre screams at her about being a good mom. You see, Deidre’s problem is that for seven years she’s been trying desperately to have a child with her husband, and her heart has been broken time and time again. When she looks at Kenisha, all she can think of is how absolutely disgusting it is that God seems to only bless the UNFIT parents. Over time, Deidre and Kenisha become friends, and that tagline comes into play. These are two very different women from very different worlds who are thrown together to help one another.
Unfortunately, most of the storylines in this book made me absolutely sick. (i.e.: There is one part where Kenisha – only fifteen years old – is giving birth to her first child and the horrible things that her doctor says to her will make most readers with a heart want to throw this book across the room.) Now…upside in all this? If it made me this mad, than I can only tell you that the writer certainly knows how to write with conviction. But, for me, the dialogue was so rough and horrific; the storyline offered almost no happiness or hope at all; and, frankly, the characters – their backgrounds, demeanors, and “lots” in life have been done all too often.
If you’re a reader who’s into intense drama or, someone who really likes to read books and watch movies about pain, agony, and horrific circumstances, then you’ll definitely enjoy this. For me, I want to see the hope shining through but this story was just too far down in the darkness for me to ever see the light.
Until next time, Amy
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