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Singing in the comeback choir
Bebe Moore Campbell
Adult Fiction CAMPBEL

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From Publishers' Weekly:

A sheen of emotional slickness prevents Campbell's disappointing third novel from achieving the resonance of her earlier work (Brothers and Sisters; Your Blues Ain't Like Mine). Two women struggle to overcome betrayal. Professionally successful and newly pregnant, Maxine McCoy, an African American TV producer, tries to regain marital trust after her husband's brief infidelity. During a sweeps period that will determine her talk show's future, Maxine leaves L.A. and returns to North Philadelphia to attend to Malindy Walker, the grandmother who raised her. Once a moderately famous club singer, Lindy is depressed and rebellious after a recent mild stroke; she also continues to nurse deep resentment for the manager who swindled her. An invitation to sing at an important music festival seems just the stimulus Lindy needs, yet she refuses either to participate or to move out of her declining neighborhood despite Maxine's repeated urging to do both. Just as a small accidental house fire shakes Lindy from her emotional paralysis, Maxine must leave Lindy on her own when she returns to her job. Amid professional havoc and personal doubts, a chance encounter with a former student helps Maxine discover inner peace, which she uses to help herself and Lindy leave the past behind and move happily forward. Campbell does a nice job of drawing the intriguing complexities of Maxine and Lindy's relationship, but the subtlety that distinguishes the best passages is markedly absent from most of the book, which is undermined by broad characterizations and an implausibly neat conclusion. First serial to Essence; BOMC main selection; author tour. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

At 37, African American Maxine McCoy's plate is full. She's newly pregnant and fearful of another miscarriage, trying to rebuild trust in her unfaithful but regretful husband and worried about the grandmother who raised her and still lives in a failing north Philadelphia neighborhood after suffering a small stroke. As executive producer of a television talk show, Maxine has nurtured the host and raised ratings, but cancellation looms and the pending sweeps are critical. Then her grandmother's paid companion leaves, and Maxine goes to her beloved grandma, once a renowned singer who's lost both her zest for living and her singing voice. Struggling to meet all her commitments, Maxine is torn between her mentor's admonition to follow the money and her growing desire to follow her heart. In her third novel, Campbell (Brothers and Sisters, LJ 8/94) dwells less on racial issues than on human problems, particularly those faced by modern women working outside the home. Campbell tells a fine feel-good story, and her audience is bound to embrace it. [BOMC Main selection; Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/97.]‘Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., Va. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Maxine McCoy
Female
Age: 37
African American
Television producer



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