Book Review: Who Does She Think She Is?: A Novel
Book Reviewed by Thumper
Demons and condemned souls must be having snowball fights in Hell because I not only read another Benilde Little book; I actually liked it. I know, I know, it is strange but true. Who Does She Think She Is? will not set the world on fire, but the novel, based on the lives of three women, is a good read which I thoroughly enjoyed. Who knew’certainly not me?
Aisha Branch is engaged to marry a nice, handsome white man, who happens to be rich. There’s rich and then there is rich. Aisha’s fianc’ is rich. When at her engagement party Aisha meets and falls in love with another man, at first sight; her world is thrown for a loop. Little does Aisha know that her indecisiveness to marry or not to marry will cause her mother Camille and grandmother Geneva to examine their lives and the choices they made in their own romantic relationships.
It has been a long time since I thought about Benilde Little and her novels. I never thought that I would have to think, no less, read another one of her books. I read and somewhat liked her first novel, Good Hair. Although, I had some issues with the novel, I can not say that I hated the book. I just found certain elements in the story difficult to swallow. I read her second novel The Itch, and felt that it was one itch better left unscratched. What little regard I had for Little as an author took a nosedive when I picked up her third novel, Acting Out. I could not get past the third or fourth page. I HATED that book’what little I read of it’and vowed NEVER to read another Benilde Little book again! I was surprised that I was asked to review Little’s latest novel, even more astonished that I agreed to do it. I think deep inside, I’m an optimist. You know ’hope springs eternal’ and all that jazz. In the case of Who Does She Think She Is?, hope has indeed sprung.
I loved the novel. Little included a few of the characteristics that I have come to associate with a Benilde Little novel, mainly, the designer name dropping. In this outing, Little paid more attention to the story and her characters. She crafted three fine characters. Each of these characters shared narrative duties. The stories are interwoven and shifts, quite splendidly I might add, through their past and present. I was captivated by Camille and Geneva. Their stories had flesh and bones in them. Aisha’well Aisha was an OK character. She got on my nerves at time, I must admit. I can not deny that Little solidly constructed their background which is reflected in the diction and tone in which they told their stories. I was impressed.
Who Does She Think She Is? is an enjoyable read that I loved in spite of myself. I fell into this novel hard and gracefully. As I became more and more enthralled with the story, I read it faster and with my full and undivided attention. Once I got going, I did not want to be bothered with anything or anyone. I am not saying that I have turned over a new life and become a Benilde Little fan, because I haven't. I am saying that the next time I see a new Benilde Little novel, I will not completely dismiss it in an instance.