17 August 2010
Susbstitute Me-A Review
Disclaimer: I was a biased reader of this novel. I wanted to love it, and thus probably loved it even more than I would have, had I had no knowledge of Lori Tharps and Kinky Gazpacho so take the following with a grain of salt.
Substitute Me is author Lori Tharps' debut novel. She has previously co-written a book on African-American hair, which I haven't read and Kinky Gazpacho, which I read and loved.
Jose Ortega y Gasset, Spanish philosopher and essayist, wrote "yo so yoy y mi circunstancia" I am myself and my circumstances. Tharps seems to take this maxim to heart, as her circumstances naturally color and flavor her writing and world view. Multicultural themes play a huge part in her life. (Read Kinky Gazpacho, I shall not spill the beans)
One of the protagonists of Substitute Me is familiar to me. An upper middle class African-American woman with a love for elsewhere. Zora finds herself in New York City after time in France trying to find herself. Substitute Me is the story of her time nannying and all that that entails.
Our other protagonist is an ambitious,Type-A mom who is about to go back to work. While her world is unfamiliar to me, her story is just as compelling.
Two worlds collide as two women from similar backgrounds,but vastly different world views come into contact in a well-written story that will make you question what you think and know about relationships, class, race and love. Tharps writes easily and confidently about race without preaching, yet provides the opportunity for deeper discussions to occur.
Substitute Me is a great novel and I can't wait for its August 24th 2010 debut so everyone can benefit and love this story.
You can pre-order it on Amazon.com
If you decide not to pre-order, go ahead and scoop it up at your local bookstore of choice.
*Image taken from the Simon and Schuster Canadian site for the Book*