Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Uptown-Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant

Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant
Touchstone, Mar 2 2010, $14.99
ISBN 9781439137765

Two decades ago, Avery Lyons left her family and New York after a nasty argument. However, with the death of her mom in a horrible accident, Avery comes home to close her mom’s estate. Her friend Alicia tries to be there for her.

Dwight Dixon has oenership as CEO of the family properties. He has moved them to Harlem where he built Dixon Plaza on Central Park North. However, his dream is beset by major construction problems, delays and costs. Avery’s arrival reveals family secrets that their two families shared, which further devastate Dixon’s empire.

Although there are some stereotyping especially several key support players, the prime cast makes for a terrific urban family drama as secrets explode into the open threatening everyone. Dwight is terrific as an ambitious, successful and astute businessman wanting to bring something to the Harlem community though his aspirations have run into problems. Avery is ironically much more complex as she carries family baggage with her. Fans will appreciate this strong look at Central Park North due to a deep story line that makes the case solutions to problems whether they are family, community or borough not easy when people fail to find common ground.

Harriet Klausner

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