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Playing with Destiny
by Phillip Thomas Duck

Category: Fiction / General
0 pages; ISBN: 1583145249

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Playing with Destiny
Phillip Thomas Duck
Bet, Apr 2005, $14.00, 273 pp.
ISBN: 15835249

Colin Sheffield’s first novel was critically acclaimed that a new talent had surfaced. He followed with other novels that also received much accolades, but none of his books sell well. Besides he struggles to reach that bar of excellence he achieved with his debut. Adding to his problems is his estrangement with his pregnant wife Liza. Finally someone threatens to reveal Colin’s darkest secrets that will ruin him.

A superstar college junior Courtney, Colin’s younger brother, is thinking of passing up his last year of eligibility to enter the NBA draft. His real goal deep in his psyche in going professional is to finally win his mother’s approval and subsequently her love from Colin, who he once worshipped, but now loathes. However, his feelings for his former girlfriend Chante remain strong even as he wonders if her daughter is his as he prays is so. Courtney is reconsidering leaving school so that he can try to regain his relationship with Chante that he hopes for.

PLAYING WITH DESTINY is a terrific extended family drama that ducks nothing as it digs into personal issues and concerns. Once the audience meets the flawed Sheffield siblings, readers will follow what happens to them as they make mistakes which compound their estrangement and causes grief with their loved ones until a final crisis makes each brother face the truth. As brilliantly developed Colin and Courtney are, the key to the tale is the female support cast who further bring out the struggles of the siblings especially jealousy. Fans who relish a sharp character driven contemporary novel will want to read Phillip Thomas Duck’s fine take on the modern day family.

Harriet Klausner


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