Book Review: The Deal, The Dance, And The Devil: A Novel
Book Reviewed by Idrissa Uqdah
Money, Money, Money, Money...Money!
Who wouldn't jump at an offer of five million dollars, free and clear? The main characters in Victoria Christopher Murray's latest release, The Deal, The Dance and the Devil learn the hard way that some things shouldn't be for sale at any price, for any reason.
Evia and Adam Langston have loved each other since forever. When she found herself pregnant with his child while they were still in high school, they didn't think twice about getting married. With the support of his devoted single mother; they managed to graduate and were determined to make their way out of the poverty-stricken D.C. neighborhood where they grew up.
Adam's mother believed that loving God with all of your heart and getting
a good education were the answers to a life out of the curse of poverty that
had plagued her family for generations. She helped the young couple take
care of their twin daughters while working her fingers to the bone at a
low-wage job at night.
Adam earned a MBA and landed an executive position at a Fortune 500 company. They moved to the Maryland suburbs and had another child, a son. Evia went to work as an executive assistant to a multi-millionaire who owned a Black hair care company. Evia loved her work and did a good job for her employer, Shay Shaunte, a driven woman who was tough but fair. Life was good.
Their life was all that Adam and Evia wanted it to be. Their children attended the best private schools, they drove expensive cars, wore designer clothes, took lavish vacations and were active members of a church that preached prosperity. They traveled in all the right circles and were financially supportive to their relatives who still lived in the old crime-ridden projects. Their marriage was solid and they still loved each other as much as they did when they first married. They had it all.
Then, the recession became a reality for them and Adam lost his high-paying job. He worked hard at finding employment but it just didn't happen. As time went by, money became a real problem for the couple. After they had exhausted their savings, they were forced to try to maintain their lifestyle on Evia's salary which was just not enough. They continued to drown in the debt of living life on the high end with not enough income. Unwilling to downsize; Adam was determined that he would land another high-paying job and be able to take care of his family in the manner that they had grown accustomed to. His pride would not let him believe anything different.
Evia did not realize that; Shay Shaunte is well aware of her financial troubles. She offers Evia a deal that she finds that she can not refuse. For five million dollars, free and clear she wants to "borrow" Evia's husband for one weekend. With no strings attached; the evil Shay Shaunte wants to celebrate her 50th birthday with Adam on a glamorous get-away. At first Evia refuses without even telling Adam about her offer but as the pressures of their financial situation conditions to wear her down and she confides in Adam. Discovering that their beautiful house is in foreclosure; the couple agree to take the deal and do the dance even though it was against God and everything that they believes in. What takes place next keeps the reader turning the pages of this provocative novel. I loved it!
I have long been a fan of this author's work. Her easy way of telling an engrossing story has made her the author of ten best selling novels and earned her numerous literary awards. But what I really liked about this storyline is the realism. The timing of this novel in today's tight economic times brings to light what many African American Christian couples are struggling with in real time. This is no pretty fairy tale.
Murray has scripted a novel with characters that pop. I loved the man that Adam had become. I admired the way that he loved his wife and children, trying to appease his spoiled teen-aged twin daughters despite the fact that he no longer could afford to provide the luxuries they wanted. Adam and Evia's romance was so strong and so sweet. Evia's issues started to get on my nerves midway through the story but she still was a strong Christian woman who appreciated her husband and tried to do the best for her family. Evia's "ghetto fabulous" relatives were hilarious and they were the perfect supporting characters.
The pacing was good and the drama was heavy. I loved the conflict and the human emotion of a couple who decided to go to any lengths to save their family. There is a lesson learned in the ending that is not preachy or judgmental. It's Christian fiction at it's best.
I don't want to give away the goods in this review so I will encourage you to read The Deal, the Dance and the Devil for yourself. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am sure that you will too.