I hope everyone has had a purposeful weekend. Mine was rather busy but that’s another post for another day. With all that’s going on in my life these days, I rarely have time to just sit down and read. I love the art of the written word. As a writer/blogger/playwright, I love a good story. A few weeks ago, I was contacted by playwright and published author, Alretha Thomas, to review her newest novel, “Married in the Nick of Nine”.
“An author and playwright, Alretha is making her name through her pen. Award winning plays and wanting to help her community, her background is as diverse as her personality. She started at the age of ten, when her 5th grade teacher picked and read her short story assignment in front of the class—that simple, loving act empowered a new writer. Continuing in high school, her numerous original oratorical conquests on the Speech Team led her to a journalism concentration at USC. Upon graduating, Alretha soon realized that her interest in journalism was not heartfelt. While at the taping of a sitcom, the producer noticed her and encouraged her to model. Modeling didn’t mean much to her, but it did lead her to acting and a NAACP Theatre Award Nomination (1993) for BEST ACTRESS. Alretha left acting and began to write full time. Her church gave her an outlet to fulfill her writing desires through their Fine Arts Department wherein Alretha penned twelve theatre pieces—the response was overwhelming. This led to plays outside of the church. The Stella Adler Theater presented A Shrine to Junior (2002), nominated for an NAACP Theatre Award. Civil Rites (2004) was awarded an NAACP Theatre Award, and Alretha’s play, Grandpa’s Truth (2006) ran at the Inglewood Playhouse in Inglewood, California, and was extended more than once by popular demand. Not only did radio station KJLH support by recommending this production to its listeners, but notables like the Mayor of Inglewood, Roosevelt Dorn, and music legends like Freda Payne and Stevie Wonder had critical acclaim for Grandpa’s Truth. This wonderful piece was featured on Channel 5 (KTLA News) by Entertainment Reporter, Sam Rubin. Additionally, Alretha’s play, Sacrificing Simone (2007) had a successful run at Stage 52 in Los Angeles and was called “An inspirational crowd pleaser” by the Los Angeles Times. Her most recent work, the ground breaking One, Woman Two Lives, starring Kellita Smith (The Bernie Mac Show), directed by three time NAACP Best Director Image Award recipient, Denise Dowse, garnered rave reviews from critics and audiences. In between plays, Alretha’s first novel Daughter Denied was launched in 2008 and has received glowing reviews from readers and book clubs across the country. Her second book, Dancing Her Dreams Away, debuted in 2011. Representing her books, Alretha has been the guest on many radio and television shows, including San Francisco Public Affairs show Bay Sunday with Barbara Rodgers.” – Bio courtesy of Amazon.
Flattered to have been chosen to review this book, I jumped right in. Early on, I saw pieces of my former self: A thirty something single woman with her mind on finding The One and settling down. I laughed as soon as I flipped through the first few pages.
The main character, Cassandra Whitmore, is smart, successful, attractive, and single, perfectly flawed and the mirror image of many young black women navigating today’s dating scene.
Her honesty and openness allowed the reader to get into her head. With references to Black pop culture, politics, and – of course – relationships, this great summer read will leave you smiling from beginning to end.
While some of the choices the character made may leave you questioning her judgement, this is a story of forgiveness and acceptance. I give this novel 4.5 stars! I took off .5 star because I couldn’t forgive one of the characters (don’t judge me).
If you love a good love story, check out “Married in the Nick of Nine” by Altretha Thomas, available at Amazon .
Again, I thank Alretha Thomas for reaching out to me to review this book. I look forward to more reviews from her (and other authors) in the future.