Nubian Circle Book Club

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Loving Donovan Book Review

Phyllis Rhodes

It is this reviewer's opinion that Bernice McFadden's latest novel, Loving Donovan, is another hit!  She cleverly and thoughtfully reveals the stories of Campbell, Donovan, and their relationship.   The "Her", "Him", and "Them" chapters are told in true McFadden fashion.  She takes us back to the beginning - rewinding time and starting with the very young Campbell and Donovan and slowly moving them into adulthood.

Through carefully placed flashbacks, we transcend generations and meet Campbell and Donovan's grandparents and parents in their younger state of being.  We experience their pain, joy, shame, and fears.  We learn their most scandalous and guarded secrets and begin to understand all the complexities and dynamics that shape their thoughts and actions. We clearly see the cycle of desolation that ultimately molds and influences Campbell and Donovan.  The families are dysfunctional, the homes are broken, no one is perfect, but they are doing the best they can given the circumstances.  McFadden gives us just enough to understand Campbell's quest for love and to empathize with the troubled, delicate psyche of Donovan.  Will Donovan and Campbell overcome the personal baggage to embrace love?  Can they supercede their haunting, painful pasts for a promising future together?  Read to find the answers.

It is the beauty of McFadden's words, pacing, and storytelling style that keeps the reader mesmerized throughout the book.  This reviewer finished the book in one sitting.  Her writing style is simplistic, precise, and rhythmic which makes it so easy to visualize images, hear the voices, and feel the emotions.  Loving Donovan will not disappoint McFadden fansI loved it and cannot wait to see what she presents next.

The Nubian Circle Book Club rating for Loving Donovan is 4.1 out of 5 stars.  We welcome your comments and thoughts about this book review.  Please e-mail us at this address: