Publisher/Date: Mariposa Publications, July 2011
Genre(s): Romance, Mature Lesbians, Self-Love, Straight Books with Lesbian Characters
Following your heart is one thing; listening to spirits is divine in IF YOU LOVE ME, COME, the lovely novel by Claudia Moss.
Spirits are what led Freenonia Roberts to the Techwood Home projects one March night, nearly striking a boy named Mookie with her gray Mercedes, and sends her on a different path than she ever imagined. The owner of a thriving bookstore, Free’s life seemed enviable, with a small circle of friends and book club members, a doting mother and a head chef boyfriend. The night she meets Mookie’s sometime baby-sitter, Miz Too-Sweet, it begins a new relationship that only the spirits could align.
Seeing it as her personal mission, Free brings the Atlanta housing project an experience they wouldn’t forget, while Miz Too-Sweet spins life stories that provide the young woman, and, eventually, those around her, light in darkness. Free contends with whether she made the right decision to leave her boyfriend, J.T., even with his demanding ways. Rhonda, her baby sister, covets Free’s storied existence and doesn’t think her own is as fulfilling as a teacher, mother and wife. Sharmayne, Free’s best friend, leaves her dreadful marriage to Vince behind, shedding her closeted sexuality. Pinky, Mookie’s mother, attempts to find love through her three baby daddies, but nothing could cure the longing for the woman who abandoned her after childbirth.
All four women have crosses that seem too much to overcome. And all four discover, through spirits sometimes unknown, that love is the answer.
If You Love Me, Come is a beautiful book. I savored every page, where the story shifted from various points of view, as well as the Southern wisdom within its pages. It reminded me of one of my favorite books, Mama Day by Gloria Naylor.
Mostly though, I was enamored by the many examples it showed of what love truly is.
Reviewed January 2012