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God Still Don't Like Ugly Book Review

Phyllis Rhodes

God Still Don't Like Ugly by Mary Monroe is the long awaited sequel to God Don't Like Ugly.  The book is the continuing saga of Annette Goode, her family, and her misfit band of friends as she returns to Richland, Ohio after running away to preserve her sanity nearly a decade earlier.  Although Annette has matured and gained more self-confidence, she still harbors the mental and emotional scars left by the pedophile, Mr. Boatwright, and the murderous antics of her best friend, Rhonda. 

The story opens with Annette making a step toward reconciliation; she travels to Miami to visit with the father who abandoned her and her mother over 30 years ago and meets her long lost half-sister, Lillimae.  The reconciliation theme continues throughout the story as she reconnects with childhood friend Pee-Wee and begins a new, unexpected romantic relationship with him.  However, drama still clings to Annette like a shadow and her life becomes more complicated by the sudden reappearance of Rhoda, a hasty engagement to a penny-pinching lover, an unexpected pregnancy, and another issue of child abuse.  However, Annette is not alone in her despair; there is an expression, "misery loves company," and Monroe manifests its essence equally in the subplots involving Lillimae, Rhonda, and Jean. 

The author skillfully marries the reconciliation theme with one of forgiveness and redemption as demonstrated at the climax of the novel when Annette's past life as a prostitute jeopardizes her wedding.  This event triggers a collapse of the wall of lies she has built and opens a floodgate of truth that enables healing for each of the wounded characters.  Sacred secrets are revealed, testimonies are shared, and lost loves are reunited.  Annette learns that the truth liberates and the dark cloud of gloom slowly dissipates from her life....toward the end of the book, the sun was finally shining in her life after nearly forty years of impediments.

This novel is filled with many unforeseen twists and turns which makes it a page-turner.  It proved to be a much anticipated and extremely satisfying follow-up novel, so much so that I do not think Mary Monroe fans will be disappointed.

The Nubian Circle Book Club rating for God Still Don't Like Ugly is 4 of 5 stars.  If you have any questions or comments regarding this review, please contact NubianCircleClub@aol.com.

 



8/4/2003