Crystal Wilkinson has created eighteen juicy character
sketches of black women that live up to the allusion of
stories have the wholesomeness of tales told among family on the front
porch. Others possess an
earthy sensuality that cry to be told from the stage in a smoke-filled
club. All the stories should
be read aloud to appreciate the talent of this storyteller.
“Music for Meriah” is the heartbreaking tale of Meriah
Clay, who follows jazz pianist Osmond from club to club.
She is seduced by the way his fingers massage the keys of his jazz
piano then massage her shoulders. Still
living with her mother, Meriah leaves home to join her musician, only to
discover he is playing a different tune.
“Hushed” is the tender love story of two misfits.
Naoma is an abused unwanted teenager, and Clifton is a deaf mute.
They recognize each other’s pain and revel in the mirror of
beauty they find in each other’s eyes.
“Girl Talk” shows the discomfort of a boy growing up in
a house filled with women. However,
all that “girl talk” gives Bruce insight in the pain of John F., the
child of an overprotective mother. When
Bruce invites John F. to play with the boys, John F. discovers the joys of
“Chocolate Divine” is the delicious tale of Leon and
June – two party animals used to being the center of attention.
They each shine in their own light, but when together it’s
“Humming Back Yesterday” is the heartrending story of
Aberdeen as she waits for the birth of her child with Clovis.
Memories of her stepfather’s abuse arise, and she hums to make
the memories fade away.
“Mine” is the laugh out loud reflections of a man’s
possession of his women’s breasts.
The reduction of these sacred objects by his ex-wife horrifies him.
It also makes him attack his current wife like a teenager eager to
hold the bounty.
“Tipping the Scales” is the funny and tender romance of
Josephine Childs, a big woman who takes love where she finds it.
This search for approval leaves her with a growing house of
children by different and non-committal fathers.
Then one day, love walks into the diner.
“Mules” is the disgusting story of a white man who has
his way with young black girls for a dollar or two. Lottie just wants the “easy” money to escape, but the
story’s narrator rejects the dirty old man’s advances with a hard kick
like that of a stubborn mule.
“No Ugly Ways” is the eye-opening story of how a
beautiful and pious young girl is ill prepared to protect herself from the
ugliness in the world.
Drawing on her rural Kentucky background, Crystal Wilkinson
has produced breathing characters that hop off the page and enter the
reader’s conscience as well as touch their heart.
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