Midnight, by Sister Souljah

midnightGritty, heady, erotic, lyrical, romance

I’ve been meaning to review this book for a couple of weeks and finally have some time. This is my review for GoodReads (and if you are not a member, really, it’s lovely!)

I picked up Midnight by Sister Souljah a couple of months ago. Total impulse buy from the center aisle of new trade paperbacks at my local Barnes and Noble. I liked the cover, that beautiful face, and picked it up, and the first page utterly captured me. I started reading that afternoon and it kept me company for the entire next week.

Loved it. Weeks later, I’m still thinking about it now and then. It is a romance, almost classic in its telling, although the milieu is a little different. Midnight is an African-born youth, a devout Muslim, only 14 as the novel opens, and living in the projects in NYC. His voice is mature, thoughtful, and powerfully engaging from the very first word, and while I quarrelled with some of his judgments (is there not a single good black man in all of the projects, aside from Midnight himself? Is there not a single honorable woman aside from his own mother?) but it rang true through his eyes.

I was fascinated by the glimpses into Somali life and African Islam and the entire landscape of the novel. It is adamantly a romance, a love story betwen Midnight and Akemi, a Japanese girl who speaks no English (as a writer, I was amazed at how well I understood her without any words) who is adorably fashionable and talented.

If there were flaws, they were in the slightly slow pace of the narrative, and again, the all-or-nothing view of the projects, and for my romance friends,

SPOILER ALERT
The end is ambivalent and unfinished. I hope there will be a sequel, because I desperately need to know what happened to Midnight and Akemi.

What is something you’ve read lately that we might not have noticed?

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