Mmmm! Hunger

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So, let’s say you’ve had your share of love affairs. 

You’ve even had your heart broken a time or two. If given the chance, would you return to a lost love?  Would you try to rekindle an old flame, or look for a spark or chance of something hot between you again?

In the new novel “Hunger� by Erica Simone Turnipseed, Noire and Innocent cling to one another in the aftermath of tragedy, but their renewed relationship may be a tragedy in itself.

When the captain of the plane on its way from Haiti to New York City announces to the passengers that they’re turning back, Noire becomes frightened for everyone she loves.  She’s been out of the U.S., doing research in Haiti for her Ph.D., and she hasn’t seen her friends or family in a year.  Some of those friends will never be seen again. It’s September 11, 2001 and grief-stricken Noire flees to the Haitian home of her old lover, Pierre, who smugly tells her that he is all she has left.

Weeks later, Noire leaves Pierre once again and returns to New York to learn that her best friend’s husband has been killed in the fall of the Twin Towers.  There is a gigantic hole in Manhattan and an even bigger hole in Noire’s heart because her mentor and “second mother�, Bonita Fuente, has also been killed in a plane crash.  There is too much tragedy, too much death in Noire’s world.  That’s why she’s relieved when she finds that Innocent is still alive and safe.

More than a year ago, Innocent and Noire were lovers but that ended painfully.  Was it cultural, Noire being American and Innocent, West African? Or was it that they wanted different things in life?   It didn’t matter.  As the weather cooled, Noire clung to Innocent for comfort, even though it seemed hollow.

But Innocent has a secret that gnaws away at him, something that he can’t tell anyone.  Was it his fault that two friends died in the fall of the Towers?  And how can he ever tell Noire that he’s about to become a father back home in Abidjan, and that his child’s mother is a woman he barely knows?

Can two people who used to be lovers ever learn to love someone else? Ah. Shakespeare couldn’t have written it better himself. “Hunger� starts out as a sort of Romeo-and-Juliet story and quickly morphs into a book about loss, and loving oneself in order to be open to the “right� kind of love.  

Author Erica Simone Turnipseed makes you feel Noire’s pain in every paragraph, and Innocent’s confusion and reluctant decision will make you want to reach into the pages and hug him with reassurance.  Be sure, when you buy this book, to ask for the accompanying “soundtrack� CD which introduces several new musical talents. If you’ve got an appetite for a raw and racy kind of romance and you’re starving for a good story, look for a copy of “Hunger�. You’re going to eat it up.

Book Details: “Hunger� by Erica Simone Turnipseed. c.2006, Amistad $23.95. 243 pages

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