Perfect Paperback: 184 pages
Publisher: Tate Publishing (February 7, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.7 x 8.6 inches
Reviewed by Robert Fleming
Her name is Avalon Soulette Brown, a God-sent woman who happens to be an accomplished nurse from Newark, New Jersey, and still lives there. Her inspirational memoir, It Was The Devil All Along, is an Old Gospel chronicle of service as a nurse over three decades. She acknowledges she’s no angel or a saint, but deeply human and ambitious. A fan of Dr. Kildare and General Hospital, she admits she admires the nurses with the white caps, white shoes, and the “pretty white uniforms.”
Brown, born into “a real Christian family,” is brought up in the church
and sees everything in that spiritual light. She is the daughter of a
minister, Bishop Earnest L. Brown. Her education in nursing causes her to
confront prejudice, where white educators and administrators tried to
convince her to become secretary or another career. In the late 1970s, there
were not many black nurses, but an abundance of such workers existed in
dietary, housekeeping, laundry, maintenance, or nurse aides.
After seven years of duty as a LPN, she passes her boards for the RN license. When her father dies, she mourns but is joyous that he pushes her toward the RN program. Everything is not flattering to Brown. Some of the events that turn against her can be traced to her hot temper coupled with a loud mouth, especially in her early days as a nurse. While she continually praises the power of the Lord, she acknowledges the dark majesty of the Devil. If this is a bona fide memoir, she writes about staffing shortages, bad evaluations, mean patients, arrogant head nurses, but there is a lack of personal information, save for a brief mentions of pregnant teen daughter, bad knees, and a botched marriage which ended in divorce and heartbreak from an abusive husband.
Anyone of faith will cheer her when she writes: “Devil, you can do what you want to me, but you can’t stop me. I gave my life to God, and He will do with it what He wants and you can’t take anything from me that He won’t give back.” (pp. 183)
In the end, readers will applaud her for her steadfast faith, patience, determination, and commitment to her profession. Despite some gaps in her personal journey, Avalon Brown’s memoir will appeal to the courage and dedication of the elders who made it possible for the younger set to thrive.
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