Review: Madam, May I
MADAM, MAY I - Niobia Bryant
Kensington Dafina/Fiction
BUY

June 2019
Mainstream Fiction
REVIEWER: Susan Plummer | RATING:  A
REVIEW: Riveting and unforgettable best describes Niobia Bryant’s last novel, Madam, May I. This story of reformation and redemption is stirring and resonating beyond the last page.

To the wealthy, Desdemona Dean aka Alisha Smith is a fashion consultant but covertly she is also a purveyor of pleasure with list of high-powered clients. Desdemona’s introduction to this seedy profession began from necessity but she craftily uses it to fuel her future and has now carved out a life that allows anything she desires. However, after years of selling in sex; Desdemona is restlessness. The business no longer holds the intrigue and excitement it once did. Much like a snake slowly sheds its old dirty skin, Desdemona carefully begins executing her plans to retire. Desdemona’s first step is pursuing an education. She decides on a private tutor, but little does Desdemona realize he will be pivotal in the new course she is charting for her life. Loren Palmer turns out to be everything Desdemona may have become had her life taken a different trajectory. Loren awakens a desire more than for learning and soon Desdemona yearns for things she never dreamed possible. However, her past and present are a constant reminder of why a future with Loren could never be. Desdemona’s life is no fairy tale and she knows too well this prince will never see her as a partner if he ever learns of her past.

Madam, May I is a transcending delve into time and once the journey begins, the story moves along as each page brings shocking but captivating revelations. Desdemona is that character you won’t soon forget. I literally went from empathy to censorship to awareness and finally to acceptance and celebration at the end. Loren Palmer is edgy but innocent, worldly but naive. He’s a younger man with no real baggage and a life that is on upward spiral and he hits the jackpot when he meets this powerhouse woman who is into him.
 
Madam, May I is set in New York City; a perfect backdrop where dreams can turn into nightmares but may also come true. The dialogue throughout is sassy, raw, real and most of all very engaging. There wasn’t a moment when the characters were not fully development and a hundred percent three-dimensional. Peering into the world of sex for sale and discovering the roles and role-plays was very interesting.
 
Madam, May I
reads like a memoir with vivid and realistic-like accounts. The novel is thought provoking because while you might want to hate Desdemona for being in a part of an exploitive machine; she is the best boss in the business. Madam, May I touches on many subjects from dysfunctional families, child abuse, devastating effects of infidelity and so much more. After reading this moving novel I was propelled to seek out other works by this author.

4th July 2019 | romcol@caribsurf.com
(A)