3 Fantastically Awesome Books that BJ Thinks You Need to Read: November 2023

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed House of Eve by Sadeqa JohnsonThe House of Eve by Sadeqa Johnson   I loved this one. It’s about two black women in the late 1940s. One is a college student at Howard University who falls in love with a med student who comes from a wealthy light skinned black family. She is immediately considered wrong side of the tracks due to her dark skin and not coming from a “right” family. They get married because she’s pregnant, but she loses the baby.  The figure out that they can’t have children of their own because she can’t carry to term. The other black woman is a teenager living in Philadelphia who is trying to get a very competitive scholarship to university and has aspirations to be an optometrist. But she gets pregnant and gets sent away to a home to have the baby and put it up for adoption. It’s an interesting look at the class system among black Americans as well as a look at one of those homes where girls went to have their babies in secret.

 

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed The Yellow Wife by Sadeqa JohnsonYellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson This one was super interesting.  It took place during pre-Civil War slavery times and is about a woman who is a slave, she’s half white and half black, so light skinned.  She gets sold to a white man who owns a prison, and ends up becoming his mistress.  No self-respecting white woman would marry a man who owns a prison and live there. So she gets forced into being his mistress, but she’s also given a few privileges for the trouble. She has children with him, but there’s drama because when she arrived at the prison she was already pregnant with the child of her true love.  This was particularly interesting because apparently this was a thing back then, men who couldn’t land a white woman would take up with a slave.  It didn’t hurt that she was light skinned too.

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed Cassandra in Reverse by Holly SmaleCassandra in Reverse by Holly Smale  Cassandra is pretty clearly on the spectrum. In one day she gets fired from her job as a publicist and her boyfriend breaks up with her, both citing that she and her intense way about her are impossible to be around.  Then the next day she wakes up and realizes that her boyfriend is still her boyfriend and her job is still her job.  She travels back in time to get a second chance to get things right. Then she realizes she can time travel at will to go back and correct mistakes and try not to get fired and dumped.  But then she realizes in her time travels that she’s focusing on getting the wrong things in her life right and sets right other things that make her better off in the long run.  A super interesting concept.
 

BJ Knapp is the author of Beside the Music, available for purchase here. Please sign up for the Backstage with BJ Knapp mailing list to get updates on events, signings, dog pictures and so much more.

added on 12.04.23

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