Publication: April 19th, 2016
by: Dutton Adult/Penguin
Genres: Adult-Fiction, Romance, Cultural, Chick-Lit, Women’s Fiction, Drama
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
My Rating: 4 Stars
They call themselves the Blackbirds. Kwanzaa Browne, Indigo Abdulrahaman, Destiny Jones, and Ericka Stockwell are four best friends who are closer than sisters, and will go to the ends of the earth for one another. Yet even their deep bond can’t heal all wounds from their individual pasts, as the collegiate and post-collegiate women struggle with their own demons, drama, and desires.
Trying to forget her cheating ex-fiancé, Kwanzaa becomes entangled with a wicked one-night stand—a man who turns out to be one in five million. Indigo is in an endless on-again, off-again relationship with her footballer boyfriend, and in her time between dysfunctional relationships she purses other naughty desires. Destiny, readjusting to normal life, struggles to control her own anger after avenging a deep wrong landed her in juvi, while at the same time trying to have her first real relationship—one she has initiated using an alias to hide her past from her lover. Divorced Ericka is in remission from cancer and trying to deal with two decades of animosity with her radical mother, while keeping the desperate crush she has always had on Destiny’s father a secret… a passion with an older man that just may be reciprocated.
As the women try to overcome— or give into— their impulses, they find not only themselves tested, but the one thing they always considered unbreakable: their friendship.
*I received a copy of this book, from the publisher via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*
Eric Jerome Dickey may be the one writer that I know won’t disappoint me when it comes to stories of sisterhood, independence, and romance. His books always makes me feel like I’m watching a movie, and I love his style. The Blackbirds is more tension filled, but the overall story left me with so many different emotions, that it was hard to get a grip afterwards. I’ve never read a dramatic romance from a male author who nails the female perspective. That’s why he will always be my favorite writer of this genre. This book is not the erotic romance that I’m used to from him, but it’s still an amazingly written story. It definitely makes me think about life choices that I’ve made, and ex-friends whom I’m no longer speaking to. I’ve come to learn that true friends wouldn’t want you to change your character just to fit in with what they have going on.
The Blackbirds follows four women, who are all very different in terms of their aim. Kwanzaa, Ericka, Destiny, and Indigo couldn’t be more different in character. Their voices are so distinct, so you have no problem with keeping up. I love the bonding that these ladies share, but also the story of their lives separately. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, either. There are moments where I felt all sorts of regret and resentment from one or more of these ladies. Each have been through some things – cheated on, raped, lack of familial love, cancer – and that is just the gist of it. I connected with each one on different levels; whether from personal experience or I’ve been around someone in the same situation. I love the realness of the story. This stuff happens everyday to someone, and the author takes time to develop each and every character’s story. I got teary eyed one or twice, but that’s to be expected when reading about such heavy subjects. The characters are diverse; having come from different backgrounds. They’re all black women, but from different cultures. I especially found Indigo’s story intriguing – her being of Nigerian descent.
This is true women’s fiction. The friendship, struggles, desires, heartbreak, neglect, and failures are all too real to ignore. I loved going on this journey, experiencing all the adventures that they did. I’ve never been scuba diving, nor jumped from a plane, but I was right there with these ladies. The only downside to this book for me was how it never seemed to end. I found myself glancing at my progress too much. This is a monster book to get through. I think it could be shaved down a little, but that could just be me. Still, if you are looking for something that will bring back memories, makes you think of how your life is or what you’d do to change it, conquer your fears, or just revel in the bond you have with your friends – then this book will definitely take you there. Definitely recommend this one!