Meant to Be
By Rita Coburn Whack
(One World/Ballantine, Mass Market Paperback, 9780345506467, 320pp.)
Publication Date: November 25, 2008
List Price: $6.99*
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In a novel reminiscent of the work of Maya Angelou and Ntozake Shange, Rita Coburn Whack tells the story of how a young woman’s spiritual awakening leads her to maturity and self-fulfillment.
When Meant to Be opens, thirteen-year-old Patience Jan Campbell is called upon to read and interpret her favorite scripture for the church congregation: “I think this scripture means that children know every shut eye ain’t sleep and every head bowed ain’t praying, so grown-ups ain’t fooling us or God. . . . So nobody should hold a child back from God just ’cause they may be having trouble finding Him.”
But a traumatic experience causes Jan to stumble and lose her “voice.” Unable to turn to those around her, she calls for her grandmother Hannah—who died before Jan was born—in prayer. Unbeknownst to Jan, Hannah does come, and through her wise eyes we follow Jan into her early twenties as she moves to the big city, goes to college, and begins a career. A reflective father, a misunderstood mother, a sage aunt, and two pivotal lovers all build emotional bridges that help Jan progress on her journey to womanhood.
Rita Coburn Whack is a writer, television and radio producer, and on-air radio contributor. She is a two-time Emmy winner. Currently a contributor for WBEZ-FM, Chicago’s public radio station, she is married, a mother of two, and a resident of south suburban Chicago. You can e-mail her at RitaCoburnWhack@aol.com.
“Okay, it’s true that Rita Whack is my friend, but it’s also true that she can write. Buy two—’cause this is one to read and talk about with a good friend.” —Bertice Berry, Ph.D., author of The Haunting of Hip Hop
“Meant to Be is a lovely debut full of wit, wisdom, and spiritual food for the journey.” —Dawn Turner Trice, author of An Eighth of August