P.G. County
By Connie Briscoe

A Review by M.C. Beamon

Drama, Drama, Drama, that's how I describe the story line in P.G. County by Connie Briscoe. If you happen to like drama in your life, this is the book for you. From the opening page to its abrupt conclusion, this novel is packed with scandal, infidelity and betrayal, all of the classic elements of a daytime soap opera but rarely seen as expertly crafted in black fiction.

For these women, Lee, Barbara, Jolene, Pearl and Candice, their problems resolve around race and money. Interracial dating and interrace disputes are as much characters in this novel as the women themselves. I, too found these topics interesting enough for a novel, so I covered them in my book, Dark Recesses. In P.G. County, however, racial identity and acceptance are just a backdrop to the core troublemaker, money.

As the quote goes, "when money is seen as a solution for every problem, money itself becomes the problem," by Richard Needham. From the enormous house, elaborate weddings, and expensive shopping tastes, the women in P.G. County raise excess to new heights. For most of the women in this story, money is used to console them, rather than working on resolving the relationship and self-identity issues they have. One of the relationships on the brink of ruin from the beginning of the story is Barbara and Bradford's.

At times, the reader is led to hope for the couple believing the adage, "a successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person," by Mignon McLaughlin. When Bradford makes an effort to rekindle his love with his wife, you almost believe their marriage and lives will turn around, but that wouldn't't make a good soap opera, now would it?

Mary J. Blige recently had a hit song called, "No More Drama," with the Young & the Restless Soap Opera music playing in the background. If you're like me and have enough drama in your life, so you're trying to follow Ms. Blige's example, than I would stray away from this episode of "Days of Our Black Lives." But, if you want some mindless fun, then travel on down to P.G. County and meet five ladies that will make you hope your friends are different and grateful if they are.

M.C. Beamon is Newsroom Manager @ WABC-TV in New York, as well as Coordinating Producer of "Like It Is with Gil Noble," an African American public affairs program airing on Channel 7. She is also the author of Dark Recesses, a top selling print-on demand fiction novel (Inside Magazine, 12/00), and the upcoming novel, Eyewitness (4/02). Her columns and commentaries are featured monthly on the following websites: doenetwork.com;netnoir.com; theblackmarket.com; seeingblack.com; northwesturbanperspectives.com; newbookreviews.com; and weekly on premyier.com To contact me, you can use the following e-mail address: doty17@go.com or at the following website link: www.geocities.com/doty1771/Dark_Recesses

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