Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Book Review - "The Dirty Side of Midnight"

Davida Adedjouma is a licensed social worker who specializes in guiding women through past traumas by using writing.  She is a published author and produced playwright.  Her writings include “Palm of My Heart” and “The Barbie Chronicles.”  Her recent release, “The Dirty Side of Midnight,” is a collection of captivating short stories.

In “The Dirty Side of Midnight,” Adedjouma has created 36 different stories.  The stories are related and tied together through the lives of various characters.  The book focuses on the lives of women that have survived unspeakable tragedy.  The stories of these women are familiar to many readers.  Adedjouma tackles a variety of social issues such as poverty, addiction, racism and domestic violence.

One of the main characters is a woman by the name of Delta.  She is first introduced in the story, “Delta Is.”  Delta Cotton was born in the South and migrated to New York.  We learn of her struggles and her victories.  Throughout the book, we are introduced to Delta’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  The failures and triumphs carry throughout each generation. 

Adedjouma is very skillful in the way she portrays each character.  As I read through the stories, I could feel the author’s passion for the issues she wrote about.  I got the feeling that she is speaking from experience.  Even though this book is a work of fiction, I could hear and feel the very real stories of real people. 

A good writer puts the reader in the story and makes them feel something.  The feelings are not always good because that’s life.  That’s real life.  Life is glutted with tragedy.  Adedjouma addresses tragedies of our nation such as 9/11 and hurricane Katrina.  One of my favorite stories is entitled “A Paradox of Faith.”  This story paints the picture of a woman that survives the atrocities of hurricane Katrina.  Miss Maggie is such a strong woman of conviction.  After the death of her husband, she is faced with being estranged from her daughter.  Her story is of courage and determination.

“To be able to use words is the greatest of gifts, the supreme power, because you call each thing into being as you see it,” states a character in the book.  Adedjouma has truly used her gift of writing by creating the intriguing stories of “The Dirty Side of Midnight.”

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