Publisher/Date: Xlibris Corporation, May 2003
Genre(s): College Life, Religious, Romance
Symone shook her head and stated, “Black lesbian love has just has no place anywhere.”
“Yes, it does,” corrected Regina. “With one another.”
And it also has an excellent place in I AM YOUR SISTER, the first novel by Ericka K. F. Simpson. The author has created a brave and genuine protagonist in Symone Holmes, the 18-year-old student athlete and entrepreneur.
A basketball phenom, Symone is graduating high school at the novel’s onset and has the world at her fingertips. The top b-ball player in the country, her accomplishments allow the star to have her pick of colleges to choose from. Symone ultimately chooses an athletic scholarship Marian University, not exactly the most notable school in the country, but a small school that will allow her to shine and leave her hometown in Virginia, where she has had more than of her share of trials.
Not one to hide her sexuality, Symone came out to her parents to disastrous results. Her mother practically disowned her, and she moved out on her own at 16. During her crisis, she turned to the Lord, hoping He would guide her through the pain and could help her understand her sexuality. He, along with girlfriend Kidera, has been her rock, whom she turned to in times of need. Through him, she truly believes that “being in love, regardless of who it was, was not wrong.” And she has no problem explaining that to the world.
Especially at Marian. When Symone arrives at the school, she quickly makes friends a few of her teammates, including fellow sistahs Jasmine, Christina and Deborah. Their color forms a kinship of sorts — until Symone’s teammates find out she’s a lesbian. Some of the once-friendly women shun her. Others pick fights. Her car is vandalized. Through these actions, Symone realizes she only has herself and shuts anyone down who gets too close. Except for Regina.
Regina finds a way to befriend Symone, despite what others have done. She allows Regina into her family life and love life, especially after her romance with Kidera goes sour. The attraction is there between them, but Symone doesn’t want to let Regina have the one thing that has been broken time and time again: her heart.
Marian University is a new start for Symone, but can she handle the pressure of everything that comes with growing up?
Simpson’s I Am Your Sister is outstanding, a great piece of work that combines love and basketball, sexuality and religion. The author really knows her stuff on and off the court, as the b-ball scenes kept my attention (and I am not the sports type at all). What made it so superb was that you really connected with Symone on a more personal level, and got to know her triumphs and struggles with every page. Her connection with the Lord was one every lesbian questioning her sexuality has had, and it allowed you to endear Symone as a great character. I couldn’t put it down.
I now have a new favorite book–and new favorite author, as well.
Reviewed June 2006