R. M. Johnson
Simon & Schuster, Sep 2004, 12.00, 310 pp.
In Chicago, with her twin daughters now seventeen and sick of depending on loser human males, thirty-three years old nurse's assistant Livvy Rodgers decides to take care of herself for a change after years of struggling to put food on the table by returning to school to become a registered nurse. Her daughter Hennesey, an honor student with a college scholarship supports the decision; her other daughter street wise Aliz, who is going nowhere, detests the decision because she will have to earn a living instead of sponging off her mom.
Rafe Collins spent three years behind bars for a crime he did not commit as he protected his friend Smoke. Rafe works as an auto mechanic at Smoke's car dealership, which the latter uses to traffic in drugs. Rafe meets Hennesey and they begin to fall in love while mom Livvy meets nice Wade Williams; besides trying to steal Rafe from her sister, Aliz and her street pals make money rolling drunks. However, they chose the wrong target when they mugged Smoke, who takes this as an affront to his manhood and plans to attack Aliz and anyone she might hold dear.
This is a look at the mean streets as readers compare the twins' diametrically opposite ways out of the slums.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner