Wednesday, July 11, 2012

RJS Book Review: A Chicki Brown Winner

RJS Book Review

As if my summer wasn't hot enough, I had the exceptional pleasure of reading Chicki Brown's latest novel Aint Nothing Like the Real Thing, e-published on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  I'll admit, I wasn't very interested in the book at first because it was categorized as Christian fiction, and (I'm sorry) but Christian romance can be done a little too prudishly for my taste.  Not so here.  Ms. Brown tells a remarkably realistic story, with all the candor and grace of traditional romance.  Her themes are decidedly Christian, but not to the extent that a lover of romance is overpowered or turned off by its message.

The novel follows Dee and Michael, an interracial couple (as you can see from the cover) happily married with a toddler and, owners, individually, of two companies.  So, why, if they are so happy, does Michael find his way into a daring affair--with a world famous supermodel no less--he meets in his nightclub?  Michael does not fail to make things worse; because Dee feels so betrayed by his infidelity and no longer wants to even see his face, Michael moves out--to the model's home.  Yeah, you heard me right.  That part truly struck a nerve.

What I loved about this story is that even though it's about an interracial couple, the couple's reactions to one another are typical of any man or woman.  While Dee does have her characteristic "black woman" moments telling Michael where to go and how to get off, it is an intimate look at how things in a relationship can go horribly wrong, even when everything looks right.  Dee and Michael eventually concede to see their pastor about their marriage, and yes, this is the more Christian element of the story, but there's nothing the pastor tells or shows them about their relationship that a good friend wouldn't say, making the story just as relatable for those without a Christian faith or background.

Ms. Brown paints a vivid picture of this couple's life, even from the opening club scene, which feels authentic and real from the very first line.  The lovemaking is described passionately without being overtly crude or racy.  I was fascinated and gripped by the surprising twist, which I won't give away here, but enlightened me of the author's incredible storytelling.

4.5/5 suns: This book is a must read, whether or not you believe God can save your soul.


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