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Water in a Broken Glass by Odessa Rose
La Caille Nous Publishing Company , September 2000
252 Pages, Paperback, $15.00
RAW Rating: 4.5 (out of 5)
Living by your own rules
First time author Odessa Rose’s novel, WATER IN A BROKEN GLASS, is a wonderful addition to any book collector’s library. She introduces us to Tonya Mimms, a sought out sculptor with the inability to commit to anything other than her art. The manner in which Rose writes this novel is just as vivid and colorful as a newly painted portrait while at the same time drives home the lesson of being true to yourself.
Tonya spends the majority of her life hiding out in a studio on the third floor of America’s Art Institute working on projects passed on by her mentor. She’s been involved with men before, but never on a long term basis as something just doesn’t click with her. Meanwhile, she’s haunted by a girl (Meyoki) that she was drawn to in high school and questions her morals while at the same time trying to convince herself that the feelings aren’t real. She’s been taught by her mother that “women ain’t supposed to run with other women” so she uses this thought as well as other teachings of going to hell if she sins in various manners. As a result, she spends all her adult life hiding from her innermost feelings and births sculptures that reflects what her mouth is incapable of saying.
It is during one of her times of trying to get away from her thoughts that she meets Malcolm Holland and instantly takes him up on a challenge. Just when Tonya manages to have both love and sculpting in her life, she meets Satin Pierce, an openly gay bookstore owner. Although sexually drawn to Satin, Tonya establishes a friendship with her and teeters on the edge of fulfilling the desires stewing inside her.
In spite of the comfort her sculptures offer, she quickly falls over the edge and a domino effect happens in her life causing her to lash out at the ones she loves as she deals with the decisions of choosing and following her heart or doing what she’s been told is the right thing to do.
Odessa Rose has painted vivid descriptions of both the characters and the scenes in WATER IN A BROKEN GLASS and has given us an engaging debut novel. Though the book touches on homosexuality, a subject that isn’t normally approved in society, Rose has done it in a tasteful manner that helps the reader understand the character’s feelings. The plot is driven by both the desires and the judgment of the characters while teaching us to be ourselves and not worry about trying to live our lives to the standards that society or those around us have established.
Reviewed by Tee C. Royal, RAWSISTAZ.com
Tee C. Royal is a freelance reader, reviewer, and editor residing in the suburbs of Atlanta.
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