Just Wanna Testify
By Pearl Cleage
(One World/Ballantine, Hardcover, 9780345506368, 256pp.)
Publication Date: May 10, 2011
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Familiar faces and places meet fresh twists and turns in this enthralling novel from acclaimed author Pearl Cleage.
Atlanta’s West End district has always been a haven and home to a coterie of unique characters—artists and thinkers, dreamers and doers. Folks here know one another’s names, keep their doors unlocked, and look out for their neighbors. Anyone planning to sell drugs, vandalize, or rob a little old lady should think twice before hitting this part of town. And Blue Hamilton, West End’s unofficial mayor and longtime protector, will see to it that you do. Blue wears many hats here, including adored husband to Regina, dear nephew to Abbey, and doting father to Sweetie and another little one on the way.
Blue is also the man you pay your respects to if you’re looking to set up shop in this urban enclave—just ask Serena Mayflower, whom Blue sees striding down Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard wearing skin-tight black leather pants, thigh-high boots, and bright red lipstick. This tall, slender, ethereally beautiful woman and her four equally striking sisters make up the Too Fine Five, a quintet of international supermodels who have arrived in town for an Essence magazine photo shoot.
But Blue’s gut tells him that there’s more to these Mayflower mademoiselles than their affection for full moons and Bloody Marys. With the help of his beloved Regina and their close friends and relations in West End, Blue vows to uncover the women’s secret intentions—and prove once and for all that there is no greater force on earth than the power of love.
A mesmerizing slice of not-so-everyday life, brimming with wicked wit and spiced with a few supernatural surprises, Just Wanna Testify showcases Pearl Cleage’s masterly storytelling at its soulful and satisfying finest.
Pearl Cleage is the author of What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day . . . , an Oprah’s Book Club selection; Some Things I Never Thought I’d Do, a Good Morning America Read This! book club pick; Babylon Sisters, for which she was named the 2006 Go On Girl! Book Club Author of the Year; Baby Brother’s Blues, winner of the 2006 NAACP Image Award and the African American Literary Award for fiction; Seen It All and Done the Rest; and Till You Hear From Me. The first author selected for the Essence Book Club, she collaborated with her husband, writer Zaron W. Burnett, Jr., on the poem We Speak Your Names. She is also an accomplished dramatist whose plays include Flyin’ West, Blues for an Alabama Sky, and A Song for Coretta. Cleage and her husband live in Atlanta.
Praise for Just Wanna Testify:
"There's moments of kick butt fun ... fans will be pleased." -PW
PRAISE FOR PEARL CLEAGE
Till You Hear from Me
“What Cleage gets right, as in her previous novels, is the strength and warmth of the people of the [West End] Atlanta community. . . . The scenes of them and others laughing, joshing, cooking and eating are full and rich.”—The Washington Post
“Wise and funny . . . equal parts Southern hospitality, history lessons and wry observations about life and love . . . an invitation to a West End salon in book form.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Fans will cozy up.”—Library Journal
Seen It All and Done the Rest
“Sparkling . . . No doubt, Seen It All’s leading lady, actress Josephine Evans, will [be] a book-club fave.”—Essence
“To read Cleage is to be immediately plunged into the hearts and souls of her characters who so richly comprise each novel’s community.”—Rocky Mountain News
“Uplifting . . . Josephine’s voice—independent, smart, wise, and funny—never flags. She’s a winning character.”—The Boston Globe