CONCRETE ISLAND - Anita Davis
Amazon Digital Services
REVIEWER: Brenda Larnell | RATING: A
REVIEW: The title, CONCRETE ISLAND, sounds like an oxymoron, but it is definitely a suitable title for this story. Talented author, Anita Davis, introduces us to the originator and dynamic force behind the Chi-Flavor Afro-Caribbean Carnivale that is to be held at Northerly Island. Enter, Starr Night (such a cool name), Professor of African and Black Diaspora Studies at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. When you read this engaging story, you will understand what prompted Starr to take on such a monumental project. Her Jamaican ancestry is key. Starr’s love interest, sometimes nemesis, is Christopher Combs, a dedicated community activist who champions his cause everywhere he goes to anyone who listens.
Starr and Chris appear to be on different wavelengths. While Chris envisions a Black community that makes a powerful, undivided stand against the gentrification of its Chicago neighborhoods, Starr’s vision encompasses the history and culture of Africans who were ‘dropped off’ in the Caribbean during the slave trade. Both are worthy causes for two “woke” Millennials. Yet, it’s almost a deal-breaker as far as their personal relationship is concerned. You will fully understand their dilemma when you read the story. I love the stimulating debates that Starr and Chris engage in, and the palpable heat between them whenever they encounter one another.
There are three key elements that stand out in this Novella. The Carnivale is certainly one of them with the vivid descriptions of the event. The authenticity of the Jamaican patois by Starr’s newly-found relatives is an asset to the storyline. The third element is the incorporation of an issue that is affecting Afro-Americans in Chicago today. They all come together to present a clever story. Kudos to the author! The interesting side characters, from Starr’s girls to the Chris’ supporters, help to move the storyline along.
The Epilogue contains a gratifying HEA and a resolution that brings the concrete and the island together. You’ll get that when you read the story. CONCRETE ISLAND is an enjoyable and gratifying story, and I recommend it for your reading pleasure.
14th April 2020 | firstname.lastname@example.org