Raedella Rollins quickly flees her small hometown of Sweet Poke, Ark., in search of bigger and better things. Destined to be a star, she's willing and ready to climb the career ladder to claim a top spot as a television reporter.

And, surprisingly to her family and friends back home, she makes it, hiding her true past from those around her. But Rae hates the fact that she comes from a true Southern black family, one that sticks together no matter what. When her world shatters around her and pieces of her carefully constructed puzzle start to unglue, Rae has nothing to fall back on but family.

This is a remarkably well-written book. Billingsley has mirrored the lives of many who grew up in small Southern towns, from the dialect to the sayings to the actions of the characters. It's hilarious but also touches on important topics like family, forgiveness, self-worth and faith. This emotionally charged novel will not easily be forgotten. (Feb., 352 pp., $14.00)

Reviewed by: 
Tee C. Royal