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A Taste of Reality.

by Kimberla Lawson Roby William Morrow/Harper Collins, January 2003 $23.95, ISBN 0-060-50565-6

After being rejected by dozens of agents and publishers, novelist Kimberla Lawson Roby self-published her first book, Behind Closed Doors, in 1996. She went on to write Here and Now, It's a Thin Line and Casting the First Stone, winner of the 2001 Blackboard Book of the Year Award for Fiction.

A Taste of Reality, the exciting new book by the Illinois-based writer, tells the story of Anise Miller, a thirtysomething together sister who, on the surface, seems to have it all--a nice home, solid career and a loving husband. However, Anise's nice home is really just a house; her meteoric rise in corporate America has slammed into not just a glass ceiling but a cement one; and her once fairy tale marriage has suddenly become rocky and unhappy. Anise suspects that her husband, David, is taking care of some other kind of business, while on his all-too-frequent out-of-town business trips.

Lawson-Roby's fifth book, A Taste of Reality follows the popular trend of contemporary fiction in that it is easy to read and avoids being overly didactic and preachy. In the opening scene, Lawson-Roby writes, "I drove my pearl white Lexus SUV into the subdivision and sighed with much confusion. I sighed even though I was living `the good life; I wasn't all that happy."

Fortunately, she has avoided the common pitfall of similar novels that feature a protagonist, usually a woman, who constantly whines and complains about men, work, money and sex. For Lawson-Roby, who spent more than 10 years crunching numbers for the City of Rockford (Ill.) Community Development Department as a financial analyst, certain aspects of A Taste of Reality seem to be autobiographical. It's this element, along with descriptive text and solid writing that make her work entertaining.
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Author:Townes, Glenn
Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 2003
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