Thursday, May 6, 2010

Review: Uptown by Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant

Avery Lyons leads an exciting life of world travel. She has learned to live simply so that she could uproot and move on at a moments notice. A phone call from home brings her back to Harlem, New York, and closer to the family and issues that fueled her far away journeys.

Her mother, Forestina was in a serious accident. Avery assumed she could breeze in, make her expected appearance and be gone before any of her long buried past could be brought back to life. She was wrong. Her mother did not recover from her injuries and she had to find out from the last person she wanted to see, her cousin Dwight.

Avery should have known it would not be easy to avoid Dwight and all of the past they shared. It wasn't just the close proximity of their houses growing up, or the fact that their mothers were both sisters, that connected them. They were as close as siblings, friends even, until Dwight went to college. Something happened then that ripped a hole between them that would last for 20 years. Avery must find a way to come to terms with her past, but she has to learn how to stay still long enough. This means coming to terms with all that has been accepted and rejected by her and others in her family.

Uptown is a powerful drama that pits politics, wealth, and greed against loyalty, family, and pride.

What I liked:

Avery was a strong, independent woman, but still able to eventually look deeper at herself. She took responsibility for her own mistakes and accepted some blame for the way things turned out. Dwight, on the other hand, seemed strong, but was actually weak. As much as I wanted to hate him the authors did a good job of making him human enough for me to read on. In a strange way, the whole Dominatrix thing did that the best. He could live with the things he was doing because he was already punishing himself.

What I disliked:

There were scenes that dragged a bit for me. Admittedly, the high stakes real estate world is so far from the life I live or usually read about. My own inexperience in this field kept me from connecting with the story during those points. But the strength of Avery's character and the desire to find out what happens to her and the family pulled me back.

Uptown by Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant was published in March of 2010 by Touchstone, a division of Simon & Schuster.

A few different reviews* of Uptown:

*This is something new I'm trying in reviews. I will offer a few other links to reviews of the same book. Since reading and reviewing are so heavily swayed by our own opinions, why not offer a few more. I'd love to know if you think this helps you in your decision to read a book or if it does not.


Kristin : )

1 comment:

  1. Great review, Kristin. Not sure this sounds like my kind of book, but the premise does sound interesting.

    And I like your review format. :-)