Friday, 21 July 2017

Review: Taffy by Suzette D. Harrison

The Blurb
Welcome to the sleepy, all-Black southern town of Bledsoe, where Colored residents proudly declare “ain’t nothing white here ‘cept milk and teeth.” It’s 1935. A press-and-curl costs a quarter. Records play on phonographs. And a telephone is a luxury.

Meet twenty-three-year-old Taffy Bledsoe Freeman. She doesn’t need her gift of second sight to know her “mockery of a marriage” to a man twice her age is far from good. After a seven-year exile Up North, Taffy travels down-home to the small town bearing her family’s name, plotting her escape from a marriage not worth the price of a press-and-curl. She only needs to retrieve the son her husband banished to her parents’ care, before boarding a train headed for the Windy City filled with liberty and opportunity. Instead, Taffy stumbles into Roam Ellis: her long-lost love and the man Taffy meant to marry.

Twenty-six-year-old Roam Ellis is a “broad-shouldered, hard-bodied” Pullman porter riding the rails coast-to-coast, outrunning the bitter heartbreak Taffy left behind. Now, after a seven-year absence, Roam is face-to-face with his first love. Anger ignites. Old wounds are exposed. But when pain subsides, passion rises, thrusting Taffy and Roam into a hurricane of buried secrets and lies.

Reminiscent of the works of Bernice McFadden, Bertice Berry, and Andrea Smith (The Sisterhood of Blackberry Corner) this Historical Romance is bathed in southern lore and sweeping imagery. Lyrical and powerful, Taffy is a story of restoration and redemption that you won’t soon forget. 

My Review
This is one of the most beautiful stories I’ve read in a very long time. The vividness of the writing was amazing and the tale was told descriptively without being overbearing or boring. The story held a plethora of emotion, dealing head on with issues that made me angry to those which gave me hope.

Taffy was an incredible woman who’d had to tolerate hardship which had made her grow up quickly. As the story progressed her strength, beauty, and good humor shone through although things had been immensely hard for her since she was sixteen.

I adored Roam. Absolutely loved him. He was everything a man should be, including forgiving. His younger self had a hard time dealing with what had happened with Taffy and I couldn’t blame him. His older self was perfection. A strong black man in a time when it was difficult to be one. He knew who he was as an individual, had goals, and worked to reach them, all while loving life (sometimes a little too much). His sense of humor, intelligence, and passionate nature made him one fine man.

The paranormal aspect of the book was intriguing. Taffy’s gift of sight and the story behind how she received it added strength and depth to the story and to the town of Bledsoe.

The one thing I didn’t care for was the head hopping in the book. It took a while to get used to. Other than that minor flaw I found it to be a fabulous novel. Absolutely stunning.

I give this book five out five  train shaped chocolate bars.

I purchased my copy from Amazon UK

Here's the Amazon US link.

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