Scribner, Aug 2002, 13.00, 244 pp.
In Austin, Texas, school principal Bobbie Strickland is a single mother who raised her twin children and for almost a decade her granddaughter, Monika “Monee” Strickland. Her daughter Darlene gave birth to the child when she was sixteen but never revealed the father's identity. Over the next few years, Darlene became a junkie. Now Darlene wants her daughter back, but Bobbie does not trust her to properly care and nurture Monee.
Retired military officer Ray Caldwell returns to his hometown of Austin. At church, he meets Bobbie and is immediately attracted to her. As Ray tries to court Bobbie, she feels that she has too much on her plate though she genuinely loves the ex soldier. Bobby knows she will face her own child in court, but is unaware that Darlene is trying to regain her life and respect.
EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE is an entertaining African-American contemporary relationship drama that will touch the soul of every reader. The story line grips the audience as it focuses on the aftermath of everyone in the sphere of a baby having a baby. Evelyn Palfrey avoids turning the plot into a simplistic tear jerker by making her key cast seem real by filling each one with compassion yet struggling with distrust and a need to overcome flaws. Fans of modern day issue not tissue tale will relish this strong story.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner