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Breathing Room.

Breathing Room by Patricia Elam Pocket Books, January 2001, $24.95, ISBN 0-671-02842-1

Patricia Elam creates an immediate and lasting connection with the reader through thought-provoking characters, seamless transitions and a plot that makes you eager to turn the page. Combining a vivid array of depth and emotion, her story questions the limits of the sisterhood between middle-aged friends, Norma and Moxie, and the families they find so difficult to love.

Although Norma will not admit it to anyone but Moxie, her marriage is evaporating slowly. From dealing with the all-white law firm that continually questions her husband's competency, to battling her memories of a tragic past, Norma is at the end of her rope Turning to the photography that has long been her passion, she reaches out for the love she misses and finds an unexpected refuge.

Moxie, still haunted by her mother's death when she was eleven, buries herself within her militant Afrocentric beliefs, and her work as a probation officer for black, juvenile, repeat-offenders. But her job isn't half as difficult as raising her sixteen-year-old daughter, Zadi.

Zadie is an aspiring ballerina and the last virgin at her prestigious private school. Elam injects a vibrant tone of wit, humor and realism through Zadie's entries into her diary, affectionately called, "Sistergirl." Solid supporting characters, presented within a thoroughly engaging plot, pay tribute to the essence of family and the issues which can bind them or break them.

Nikitta A. Foston is a freelance writer and finance professional in Chicago whose work has been published in Black Voices Quarterly Magazine and
COPYRIGHT 2001 Cox, Matthews & Associates
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Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Foston, Nikitta A.
Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 1, 2001
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