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Better Than I Know Myself
by Donna Grant Grant & Virginia DeBerry

Category: Fiction / General
370 pages; ISBN: 0312273096

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


Better Than I Know Myself
Donna Grant, Virginia DeBerry
St. Martin's, Jun 2004, $24.95, 370 pp.
ISBN: 0312273096

In the Brooklyn projects “prisoner” Carmen struggles to survive the mean streets. Her father is dead, her mother vanished, and her older brother has “raised” her by abusing her. Hew ticket out of the slums is Columbia University, but that means two jobs and non-stop studying.

In Franklin, New Jersey, upper middle class Regina lives the African-American equivalent to the Cleaver household though she is no Beaver. Her parents “Ward and June” have set life goals for her that so restrict her she is ready to revolt.

In Baldwin hills, California, teenage star Jewel cannot hide from the fact that she is recognizable as a star on the TV show "Daddy's Girl. However, Jewel has made some decisions about the direction of her life. She plans to go to school to obtain a real education and to achieve that she needs to escape from her stage mother.

In 1981, these three teens from totally different social classes meet in Morningside Heights and forge a friendship that survive drugs, secrets, illness, betrayal, and death. For each ahs found solace in the other two.

This sisterhood tale is a fine comparative look at three strong protagonists who form a friendship that helps each of them achieve a modicum of happenings in spite of setbacks. Each of the trio is a unique fully developed person so that readers understand what drives them. Fans of a strong character study inside a buddy tale will enjoy the apropos titled BETTER THAN I KNOW MYSELF for these pals surely do.

Harriet Klausner


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