An Inconvenient Friend
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Urban Trade Paper; 1 edition (August 1, 2010)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
Reviewed by Idrissa Uqdah
Is This What Friends Are For?
This novel is a great follow-up to McKnight's debut novel, Secrets and Lies. The protagonist, Samaria Jacobs returns as a nurse set on seducing still another rich but married doctor. But this time, she's the star of the show and the author has completely developed this character as more than a heathen and a home-wrecker. Drama, Drama, Drama; this story is full of it and I loved it!
Samaria is a broken soul. Growing up in the projects with a less than perfect childhood; she is determined to live the good life. Yet; she goes about it the wrong way. She has an affair with the very married Dr. Gregory Preston who has some significant issues of his own. His marriage to the lovely, accomplished Angelina has hit a few sour notes after the SIDS death of their infant daughter. Angelina wants to try again, to have another baby but Greg is hesitant.
In addition; while his wife is a very active member of the upwardly mobile Greater Christian Life Church, Greg doesn't even want to attend Sunday services anymore. He's lost his connection to God when he lost his beloved daughter. He is ripe for an affair with a woman like Samaria.
I was truly prepared to hate this character but the author so carefully portrayed her inner soul that I found myself sympathizing with her poor choices and cheering her on when she finally seems to get it.
Cheating with Angelina's husband and enjoying the many expensive gifts and cash that allowed her to live like a rock star wasn't enough for Samaria. She devises a diabolical plan to end Greg and Angelina's marriage for good believing in her warped mind that Greg will marry her.
Samaria joins the women's bible study class that Angelina teaches at Greater Christian behind Greg's back. Her plan is to get close to Angelina, learn her ways and habits to steal her husband's heart for sure. Scandalous!
Angelina is none the wiser, embracing Samaria with the love of Jesus, even becoming her sister/mentor. What follows is a lesson of "watch your back" and "be careful who you befriend".
Samaria can't help but be who she is since her mother was such a poor role-model. Yet; Samaria has a hard time saying no to her mother. Ashamed of her mother's ways; she moves away from the projects after becoming a nurse but she still comes running whenever Mama calls. When she discovers her mother is hiding an addiction to prescription drugs, she allows her mother to play the guilt trip on her. Continuing to enable her mom, she puts herself in harm's way just to satisfy her need to be the "good daughter" to a "bad mother".
Meanwhile; for the first time in her life, she finds a true female friend in Angelina and begins to squirm in the corner that she has painted herself into. She never expected to really come to care about the wife of her married lover. And she never thought that she would really like having a real friend. So what does Samaria choose?
Themes of forgiveness, redemption and truth make this story line an inspirational tale of two women both locked in pain and sadness. The author shows the realities of a struggling Christian marriage when two people are unequally yoked. I cried with Angelina. I wanted so much more for Samaria and I even understood Greg's struggles. This book will take the reader in many different emotional places on the outside looking in.
Although a sequel; this novel stands alone as a testimony to the inner good in most people who are striving to find God in their lives. It was an all-night read!