Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Great Pretender - Millenia Black

What happens when a 6+year, pseudo-bigamist decides to ‘grow a conscience’? Only one word comes to mind…disaster!

Reginald Brooks is a tall, attractive, charismatic and extremely successful businessman. Reginald has it all: power, influence, money, women and love…his problem? Where he wants love, he has abused and lost it. Where there is more love than life, Reginald ignores it. His biggest dilemma? He is playing this ‘give and take’ love game with five (count them) five women.

“Hell hath no fury to that of a woman scorned!”

Juggling a wife and two, practically adult, daughters in Miami and a fiancé’ and a six year old daughter in Orlando, Reginald makes it a difficult task for the women to continue loving him with their all. Nevertheless, Reginald plays Atlas, carrying the world on his shoulders, maintaining his masquerade by telling lies and securing alibis. All is manageable until Reginald decides he can no longer handle the pressure. In actuality, he does not ‘grow a conscience’. In fact, he attempts to shift the responsibilities of his selfishly choreographed indulgence steadily upon the backs of the women he supposedly ‘loves’.

Reginald discovers, unbeknownst to him, that all of these intelligent women have lives of their own; all having their own explicit secrets. As all the lies began to come to light, Reginald finds out that he has never had the control he believed he held. Reginald is merely a great pretender. The truth hurts, but not always the person in which it is expected to hurt. The truth has a life of its own as well.

In the literary arena, there are great stories and there are great storytellers. Most often, one does not automatically accompany the other…but in this case it does. Millenia Black is a great storyteller and she tells a great story. “The Great Pretender” is realistic; its characters are fully complex and their dialogue is authentic. With the use of small, inconsequential interruptions in complex situations, Millenia Black paints a scene that is so genuine, if flows like true life.

While reading this book, I was reminded of the days I grew up watching “Dallas” and “Dynasty”. I would not dare compare Millenia Black’s work to the soap opera’s of today because Millenia’s work is so realistic.
Someone call HBO! The Great Pretender could easily be “The Sopranos” of South Florida. I believe The Great Pretender will be a big hit in the bookstores and I have no doubt that it will not be last time hearing from Ms. Millenia Black. You’ll be asking, “Janet Evan-a-who?”

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