All posts filed under: Romance

Black Romance: race, progress and happily ever after

Last year my mother’s secondary school friend came to spend Christmas with us. We were settled in the living room, slumped in the obligatory post-turkey coma-haze, when this five-times-a-day praying, Muslim grandmother pulls out a battered paperback. I could see the cover from across the room, the pert, white woman with flowing hair and translucent billowing gown, clinging to her shirtless, muscled white, male love-interest. The cover design was so typical of Mills & Boon I barely needed the M&B trademark initials they stamp in the corner to identify it. I was so amused to see Aunty retreat into the world of throbbing bosoms and hardened members I had to snap a pic. For posterity. Advertisements

Black girls find magic in 32 Candles

When I described the opening of 32 Candles to a friend –poor, dark-skinned, black teen obsessed with John Hughes films and their happy endings dreams about being the star of her own fairy tale romance – my friend said: “That sounds like a book about you.” I chose not to take offence to her comment, after all, it’s 95% true. I love the novel’s lead character Davie Jones because like me she grew up on Pretty In Pink and The Breakfast Club and harboured the quiet hope that one day a gorgeous, charismatic guy would recognise the light hiding under her bushel and whisk her away from her hum-drum life. Unlike Davie Jones I did not grow up in Nowhere, Mississippi, the daughter of an alcoholic mother. I did not spend most of my childhood a selective mute after a traumatising incident. I was not called Monkey Night by colour-struck classmates. And I never made a play for the most popular boy town that went so badly wrong I was forced to flee town in …

Sun, sex and scandal in Black Diamond

A set of twin babies wind up in a South African orphanage after their parents are killed. Lola is strong and beautiful and quickly adopted by a famous American actress. Grace is sickly and expected to die. She survives and is eventually adopted by an abusive church pastor and taken to live in England. The sisters grow into women as different as their new homes, Lola follows the Lindsay Lohan Guide to Celebrity Living, dating all the wrong guys, drinking like a fish and stumbling through one scandal after another. Grace is overweight, timorous and unlucky in love. What will happen when their worlds collide? Will they find love and happiness? And, can they survive the secrets of their past? While reading the first few chapters of Black Diamond I found myself doing that yelling-at-the-TV thing. Both Grace and Lola start out naïve, immature, manipulated by the people in their worlds. They learn every lesson the hard way (despite my yelled warnings) and it’s tough to watch them trusting and losing again and again. The …