Book Review – Blues Dancing by Diane McKinney-Whetstone,

I cried. I succumbed. Call me soft, but it doesn’t change that it’s four in the morning and I’m tearfully pumped. This woman is such an inspirational writer.

I NEVER know what to write as a review when I finish reading one of McKinney-Whetstone’s novels.

Never.

My review is somewhere glittering in my tears or gasping at the familiarity of her characters. They respond like me, they emerge as older versions of me at family reunions or old college roommates.  They slouch with puffy red eyes in the seat across from me on the bus, they order the cheesesteak – salt, pepper, ketchup only- right before me. They reach for my heart hoping to rekindle love, and they live in me – in the secrecy of my thoughts – the ones I dare not write down for fear of reality sweeping them into deferred and plaintive fissures and weighty explanations. Her characters know me, closely like…so close they know where I keep my feelings; can decipher their etchings on the underside of my skin.

All I can say is read her. And when you do, let her lusty lines cause you to squeeze yourself discreetly while you read them on the subway, laugh out loud in that cafe, hug your sister – blood or experiential – by listening to her or letting her rest her head on your shoulder. Kiss your auntie, and dear God, smell the butter in the air and tell the one you love that you Love them.

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