Brice’s uneven second novel (after Orange Mint and Honey) follows two lonely women as they discover they have a lot in common. Having survived a messy divorce and a move back to her hometown of Denver, Trish Taylor already has her hands full raising her teenage son when she reads a letter left by her deceased grandmother. In it, her grandmother reveals that Trish’s mother died from a heroin overdose and Trish’s baby sister, Billie, was given up for adoption because the father was black. Despite her grandparents’ prejudice, Trish has no issues with race. She’s white, her ex-husband is black, but Billie is unwilling to believe that her adoptive parents would have kept the secret that she was adopted and is biracial. Billie has other problems as well: an unplanned pregnancy has sent her jazz-musician boyfriend packing and she, like Trish, has lupus. Brice sets up the sisters for the blandest of confrontations (one watches chick flicks, the other teaches African dance), but as they come together in the second half of the book, the initially stock characters develop enough to compensate for a narrative tending toward melodrama. (July)
Update: Just was reminded of this wonderful post about bad reviews.