Dafina, Oct 2003, 24.00, 274 pp.
As a teen at Jamaica High, Sylvia "Suvie" Allen learned a bitter lesson when her first love Philip betrayed her with her best friend Dorothy. Though still hurt by what happened, forty-six years old Silvia knows she lives a good life. Almost two decades of marriage and she still enjoys Emory's company and the icing is that they have two delightful teenage daughters Aaron and Monet. The present and the future look great.
The past intrudes on Suvie's contentment when Phillip arrives. He begs Suvie to forgive his indiscretion of three decades ago and plans to escape his unhappy marriage to Dorothy to start over with Suvie. While a stunned Suvie reassesses her life, Emory and their daughters cannot understand why she would even consider Philip's offer when they have a loving happy home. Now with her two teens facing their own crises and her husband withdrawing from her, this once contented family appears on the brink of collapse even if the matriarch says no to her forever love.
The key to this family drama is the depth to each of the critical characters who deliver a fabulous story line that focuses on the interrelationships between the four Allens as the complacent fašade rips open the hidden woes of each one. The catalyst is obviously Philip who blithely waltzes back into Suvie's life not interested in what that means to her husband or daughters. The secondary cast whether it is a basketball coach or a hairdresser provides greater insight into what makes the prime players breath. Margaret Johnson-Hodge provides a tremendous character study with this strong look into a family metamorphosis.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner