The Hearts of Men.
Male egos are fragile yet shatterproof in this true-to-life debut novel. Tough lessons and father-wit loom large in this story about men staying the course and stumbling along the way with a million eyes watching.
Tall, dark, chiseled and compromised, ex-car thief Prodigy Banks is a 28-year-old Atlanta "playa" whose philandering ways and habitual lateness on the job have caught up to him. When Prodigy and his married co-worker Gina are caught with their pants down on company videotape, his boss gives a tough caution in lieu of a pink slip. This wake up call, along with his fatherly mentor Winston "Poppa Doc" Fuller's ever-present advice, puts Prodigy in motion. He becomes a reluctant mentor to his live-in gangster cousin Jermaine and eventually a mentor at a youth center where he befriends a young asthmatic, Blake, and falls head over heels for the boy's mom, Nina. Just when Prodigy thinks all is well, his past trips him up; again he is faced with a situation he must confront with all his heart as a man.
Similarly, god-fearing, workaholic family man, Bernard Charles, son-in-law to Poppa Doc, faces reunion with his mom who abandoned him as a child. At the same time he must face his wife's infidelity and the long heart-search to forgive.
Hunter's prose isn't subtle as it preaches male self-reliance and responsibility, but his landscape of characters and their quandaries are sho'nuff true to life.
Ahmad Wright is a freelance writer living in New York City. His work has appeared in Vibe, Maxim, Trace and The Washington Post Book World.
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|Publication:||Black Issues Book Review|
|Article Type:||Book Review|
|Date:||Jul 1, 2001|
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