God Ain't Blind: Book Review

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Mary Monroe has a habit of keeping me up all night and with her latest work, she's done it again.

Mary Monroe has a habit of keeping me up all night, and with her latest work God Ain’t Blind (2009) she has done it again.

I was introduced to the Monroe’s writing in late 2006 when a friend loaned me the first book in the "God" series. The daughter of sharecroppers from Alabama with a passion for writing since childhood, told prolificwriters.org that most of her work is autobiographical and that many characters have been modeled on real life members of her Baptist Church congregation.

Even the titles of the "God" series stem from a religious saying in Monroe's family that God can see past surface appearances.

God Don’t like Ugly
(2000), set in northeastern Ohio where Monroe grew up, provided an unflinching glimpse into the life of Annette Goode, a shy, overweight girl, abandoned by her father and trapped in a world of poverty and sexual abuse.

Annette’s life changes when she meets and is befriended by Rhoda Nelson, a wealthy and beautiful girl who eventually becomes Annette’s best friend and goes to extraordinary lengths to help her. Monroe’s sassy tone and eye for detail makes a lively and thoroughly entertaining read.

This continues throughout the second and third books, God Still Don’t like Ugly (2004) and God Don’t Play (2007), Monroe continues chronicling the lives of the characters introduced in the first novel. Annette goes through a turbulent period including a stint as a prostitute, before being reunited with her father and eventually marrying a childhood friend Pee Wee.

Her marriage with Pee Wee is severely tested in the third novel as well as her friendship with Rhoda, who also marries and has children, but faces health and family problems.

God Ain't Blind delves straight back into Annette’s life. Her marriage, to her childhood friend Pee Wee seems to be in trouble again as she is contemplating embarking on an affair with the full support of her best friend Rhoda who is having an affair of her own. Things are not however as they seem and Annette risks shattering not only her marriage but the life she built for herself.

The novel contains the same sass, the same eye for detail and the same lively and entertaining format. It’s still a page turner.

It still kept me up all night. But I couldn’t help but feel as though it was a little rushed and a little predictable. Some characters, such as Annette’s mother, who was prominent in both the first and second novel, were barely touched upon. Even Rhoda’s character seemed a little sidelined in this latest outing, only really appearing to give alibis for Annette.

Overall the book is typical of Monroe as the novel ends openly, hinting that there may be another book in the works, meaning more sleepless nights for me.

God Ain’t Blind

will be released in August 2009.

For more information on Mary Monroe and her other works visit: http://www.marymonroe.org/

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