Review by Doris H. Dancy
Five Star Review: Shewanda Pugh is a master artist who paints a picture with extraordinary diction. In her novel, Love Edy, set in Boston, Massachusetts we first meet Edy and Hassan on a football field in full bloom adolescence. The author tells us that on that night “the sky hung heavy, seamless, with heaven’s stars blotted out by overbearing skyscrapers.” At first glance, the two children have simply formed a lasting friendship from birth, a natural extension of their parents’ love for each other despite cultural differences. However, a closer look immediately reveals that there is something forming deeper with Edy and Hassan. There is something profound with these two who travel the world together, eat their daily meals together, and climb through each others nearby bedroom windows for secret, but innocent, meetings in the night. To them, they are the perfect-match; however, to others, they are quite the unlikely pair. He is a shining football star, confused by new feelings for his “best friend,” and she, a graceful ballerina hidden under the nonchalance of frumpy dress and causal hair…an overt “tomboy” with a beneath the surface incredible grace on the ballet floor.
They know each other better than anyone else. She is his and he is hers. In these early years, they hold a secret within themselves, even from each other, as to how deep the love goes. In the back of their minds, always, is the trip to India that they took together when they were only nine years old. There, in this foreign culture, held fast by his Hindu family, he is “promised to another in a tradition as old as marriage itself….”
Shawanda Pugh is a master storyteller, who creates riveting characters and realistic dialogue. She elevates her story by keeping the reader engaged both above and beneath the surface of her tale. She provides a multiplicity of symbols that demand the reader to delve beyond the surface story. There is the deep chasm between culture and position that seems to refuse a meeting of minds and causes the frustration of two teens that will, no doubt, battle both in Book Two. There is the class struggle that contrasts, so clearly, the heart of human kindness regardless of status. In the end of this brilliant Book One, the reader is left watching a panoramic view of the “certainty” of love, a struggle for power in the face of betrayal and deception, a battle for protection, and the indisputable unpredictability of life.
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/loveedynook