Publisher/Date: Dodi Press, July 2005
We’ve all been in Sadira Cooper’s shoes – loving someone we know, deep in our hearts, is all wrong for us. But we believe beyond hope that she will become the perfect woman for us.
Sadira faced this dilemma and more in Cheril N. Clarke’s INTIMATE CHAOS.
The novel opens with a letter from Sadira’s ex, Jessie, apologizing for the mistakes made in their tumultuous relationship. Sadira’s reading of the letter takes her three years back, when she first met Jessie. Traveling on the subway, Sadira spots the dreadlocked beauty and is instantly attracted to her. She oddly asks for Jessie’s email address, and they exchange messages, getting to know each other and eventually dating.
Yet the more Sadira becomes acquainted with Jessie, the more Jessie runs away because of issues from her past. Meeting a thoughtful and romantic woman like Sadira scares her; it’s something Jessie’s never had. When things are good between them, Jessie pulls disappearing acts, going in and out of Sadira’s life without notice, hurting her in the process. She breaks dates, holds back her feelings, and doesn’t appear to genuinely care as much as Sadira does about their relationship. And every time Sadira tries to break loose from Jessie’s hold, she finds some way to come back into Sadira’s life.
Sadira knows that Jessie’s revolving door behavior and standoffish attitude is not how she wants to be treated. Even after friends and her twin sister, Khedara, all warn that Jessie is not the one, she still moves their relationship forward, and the two relocate to Miami to begin a new life.
With the move, things are good at first, and then their relationship spirals into its old patterns. Jessie still hasn’t opened up completely with Sadira and spends far too much time at work instead of being home. Things get so bad that Sadira is contemplating sleeping with her neighbor Kenya. It all comes to a head in the most dramatic fashion.
Intimate Chaos is simply that indeed. In Clarke’s novel, you’ll be exposed to Sadira’s innermost thoughts as she falls in love with a self-absorbed woman. Throughout the book, you get caught up in Sadira’s grief, almost to the point where you want to yell at her, “Wake up!” But you don’t; you simply feel her pain, as we’ve all been there before.
Clarke’s writing is enjoyable, and I look forward to other books by her. I just hope in the sequel, Sadira finds love with someone who’s emotionally available to love her in return.
Reviewed November 2005