Familiar faces and places meet fresh twists and turns in this enthralling novel from acclaimed author Pearl Cleage.
Atlanta’s West End district has always been a haven and home to a coterie of unique characters - artists and thinkers, dreamers and doers. Folks here know one another’s names, keep their doors unlocked, and look out for their neighbors. Anyone planning to sell drugs, vandalize, or rob a little old lady should think twice before hitting this part of town. And Blue Hamilton, West End’s unofficial mayor and longtime protector, will see to it that you do. Blue wears many hats here, including adored husband to Regina, dear nephew to Abbey, and doting father to Sweetie and another little one on the way.
Blue is also the man you pay your respects to if you’re looking to set up shop in this urban enclave - just ask Serena Mayflower, whom Blue sees striding down Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard wearing skin-tight black leather pants, thigh-high boots, and bright red lipstick. This tall, slender, ethereally beautiful woman and her four equally striking sisters make up the Too Fine Five, a quintet of international supermodels who have arrived in town for an Essence magazine photo shoot.
But Blue’s gut tells him that there’s more to these Mayflower mademoiselles than their affection for full moons and Bloody Marys. With the help of his beloved Regina and their close friends and relations in West End, Blue vows to uncover the women’s secret intentions - and prove once and for all that there is no greater force on earth than the power of love.
A mesmerizing slice of not-so-everyday life, brimming with wicked wit and spiced with a few supernatural surprises, Just Wanna Testify showcases Pearl Cleage’s masterly storytelling at its soulful and satisfying finest.
©2011 Pearl Cleage (P)2011 Random House Audio
Praise for Just Wanna Testify:
"There's moments of kick butt fun ... fans will be pleased." (PW)
PRAISE FOR PEARL CLEAGE:
Till You Hear From Me“What Cleage gets right, as in her previous novels, is the strength and warmth of the people of the [West End] Atlanta community. . . . The scenes of them and others laughing, joshing, cooking and eating are full and rich.” (The Washington Post)
Seen It All and Done the Rest
“Sparkling . . . No doubt, Seen It All’s leading lady, actress Josephine Evans, will [be] a book-club fave.” (Essence)
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"Never disappointed in Pearl Cleage before, but..."
First let me say that I LOVE Pearl Cleage's writing. I've read or listened to everything she has written--often more than once. I was so excited to see a new book by Ms. Cleage that I downloaded this one without a second thought. However, I can't even make it past the first half hour of this book. The characters in Cleage's Atlanta have always been real to me, but this flight into the world of fantasy and not-of-this-world creatures was a bit too much. It isn't that I don't occasionally like books along those lines (though not often), but it is neither what I expect from this author nor what I value in her writing. Overall, if you are a Cleage fan, don't expect this to be like anything she's done before, and if you're not but like stories about fantastical beings in the "real" world, then this might be the book for you.
I always wait with a great sense of anticipation for Pearl Cleage's next book. Having read all of her novels, I consider myself a true fan. Fortunately, I've never been disappointed in her work. Unfortunately, her streak of success has been broken. This novel is a strange, unrealistic, and weird deviation from her style that made it impossible for me to finish the book. I tried to hang in there and open myself up to a new experience, but I just couldn't do it. If you're a true fan and are looking for a continuation of Ms. Cleage's encouraging and hopeful ventures into the West End, I'm sorry to say that you'll be disappointed in this work.
"I wasn't dissatisfied..."
The story was a little surprising as I did not expect for it to be about vampires and other supernatural beings. I found the story well-written but a far different story than the first book I read of hers, "What Crazy Looks Like", which I thoroughly enjoyed.
"A story within the story"
I enjoyed how Cleage used the vampire existence as a personification of the current status of African American relationships.
"Vamps in West End"
A fan of Pearl Cleage's work, I especially like the stories set in the fictional setting of West End near Atlanta. Just Wanna Testify used vampires to provide a stinging commentary on the state of Black male-female relationships. I experienced a slight let down at the book's ending, but overall I enjoyed this modern twist on vampires. I especially enjoyed the narration by Bahni Turpin.
"Refreshing, inventive and unexpected!!"
I hesitated for a while because of the topic of vampires--- not my thing, but this book is wonderful. What if....men did this and what if...women could do that?? Imagine the possibility of what love, real love between a MAN and a WOMAN could be. The vampire spin is a metaphor (listen or read the book to answer for what). I find something to stir up an evening full of conversation each time I listen. Well done!
"A Dream In The West End"
On my long drives from one side of the country to another, listening to one of Pearl Cleage's novels keeps me excited, interested, and awake.
I enjoyed the way in which Cleage smoothly presented a soulful rendition of science fiction.
Bahni Turpin is refreshing and animated. She sounds like a sistahgirlfriend sitting in my living room telling me a story.
The end was very moving. I really became emotional.
I have not been disappointed in Pearl Cleage's "West End" stories and this was another one that reinforced why I love her writing. An excellent twist of a story that moved Cleage into another delightful genre. It was also an excellent way to bring up two sub-topics that reflect some of today's social issues (body image and the unacceptable conduct of young college males).
"different for pearl"
I might have given it as many stars as I did because I love Pearl!! Because she writes so well, she takes this book from just being fair to being a good listen. Not my favorite, but not terrible either.
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