Review: Mama's Boy
MAMA'S BOY - ReShonda Tate Billingsley
Simon & Schuster/Gallery Books
July 2015
REVIEWER:  Brenda Larnell | RATING: A+
REVIEW: The setting for this gripping story, MAMA’S BOY, is Jasper, Texas, a town known for racial tension. It’s quite appropriate that the author uses this particular town as the setting for her story as the reader is immediately introduced to a tense situation that involves a young black male who is accused of killing a white policeman. From the first sentence, “This has to be what death felt like.”, the reader becomes embroiled in this conflict of racial tension that has equally tense subplots of rape, forgiveness, redemption, and mistrust.

When the story opens, Gloria Jones, the First Lady of Mount Sinai Church, and one of the main characters, is standing in front of the television looking at a news video that shows her sixteen year old son, Jamal, participating in the shooting of a Jasper County police officer. A manhunt pursues. This incident is the catalyst for a sequence of events that will uncover long kept secrets, jeopardize marriages, friendships, and careers. Through some strong, insightful writing,
ReShonda Tate Billingsley not only delivers an unforgettable story, but also some unforgettable characters that are flawed and real. There’s Gloria’s husband, the Rev. Elton Jones who hides his black sins behind his white clerical collar. The up and coming Houston, Texas prosecutor, Kay Christiansen, whose dark secret past comes to the light and threatens to implode her future. Her husband, Phillip, a defense attorney, who does not share his wife’s myopic black and white view of the law. These four characters are destined to come together in a most unconventional and unpredictable way that will forever change their lives.  Now, there are other subplots unraveling and intertwined with the manhunt for this young man of color. This is a multifaceted story that also encompasses the issues of racial profiling and the justice system.

The Epilogue is just as gripping and intense as the beginning. (No spoilers here.) This book will hit every emotion that you have. There are many twists, turns, devastating secrets and revelations that will leave you with OMG moments.  On the other hand, there is an element of “realness” that will have you shaking your head at the similarity to events in today’s headlines. I highly recommend
MAMA’S BOY. It’s a timely read, and you will not be disappointed!

22nd August 2015 |