Genre: Adult Fiction, Mature
Publication Date: May 13th 2014
Source: Physical ARC Provided by Publisher Through Shelf Awareness Giveaway
In this scorching, mournful, often explicit, and never less than moving literary novel by the famed creator of the Easy Rawlins series, Debbie Dare, a black porn queen, has to come to terms with her sordid life in the adult entertainment industry after her tomcatting husband dies in a hot tub. Electrocuted. With another woman in there with him. Debbie decides she just isn’t going to “do it anymore.” But executing her exit strategy from the porn world is a wrenching and far from simple process.
Millions of men (and no doubt many women) have watched famed black porn queen Debbie Dare—she of the blond wig and blue contacts-“do it” on television and computer screens every which way with every combination of partners the mind of man can imagine. But one day an unexpected and thunderous on-set orgasm catches Debbie unawares, and when she returns to the mansion she shares with her husband, insatiable former porn star and “film producer” Theon Pinkney, she discovers that he’s died in a case of hot tub electrocution, “auditioning” an aspiring “starlet.” Burdened with massive debts that her husband incurred, and which various L.A. heavies want to collect on, Debbie must reckon with a life spent in the peculiar subculture of the pornography industry and her estrangement from her family and the child she had to give up. She’s done with porn, but her options for what might come next include the possibility of suicide. Debbie . . . is a portrait of a ransacked but resilient soul in search of salvation and a cure for grief.
This is the story of Debbie Dare, porn star who shaves down there more times than her husband’s chin. Debbie, who’s film producer husband dies electrocuted while recording on the bathroom with a sixteen-year-old having sex and who knows what else. Debbie, now former porn star on the way to recovery. Something clicks inside of her when she sees her husband dead. She cuts out her signature platinum blonde hair and removes her false cheek tattoo, wears big dresses and just doesn’t give a fuck about what her movie director tells her or even the vultures asking for money her diseased husband owed. Debbie, who’s road to redemption is far harder than what she might have thought, a road that brings bad memories and past ties left loose because of past mistakes.
Being honest, I only signed up for this ARC because it was a free ARC, I didn’t even remember requesting it until I had the mail package in my hands. I was hesitant at first because of the strong content this book contained, plus not seeing much going on in the story. Apparently, there are times that when you expect little of a book it seems to amaze you big time.
My favorite part of this book was Debbie. She was a porn star not because she enjoyed the sex or attention. It was her job, the same as if she were typing behind a desk in a stuffed office, a surgeon, or a librarian. It paid, it got her places, and as all porn stars know, it was a hard hole to crawl out of.
“Save yourself. Know that you can do anything. Don’t look down on anyone. Don’t forgive them or condemn them. And when they tell you to get down on your knees, you tell them to get down there with you. Tell them that you can take the pain if they will too.”
Debbie aka Sandra Peel was a peculiar and very interesting character. She was strong but frail, could hold on in front of everyone but breakdown when alone. She read and knew things others might not, she knew how to deal with certain people and how to not let them control her as she let them before on her sex scenes. She had to deal with the death of a husband she might or might not have loved. They had an understanding, an agreement of mutual care between both through a spontaneous marriage from Vegas. Even with this, even if both fucked with a lot of people, they cared and didn’t treat the other badly. Debbie was also dealing with the death of her dad after about fifteen years later and the things she brought upon herself since then.
She was okay with all and as the book progressed, as she tried to forget her old life and begin anew, she slowly fell into a depression where suicide was often sitting next to her, smiling and never talking, encouraging and waiting for her to take the final decision to join the death.
“The truth is I’m thinking about it all the time. It’s like a door open at the side of the house and this cool breeze is blowing in over the back of my neck. The breeze is Death whispering and that door is open for me to go through anytime I want. And I want to go through. I want the confusion to stop–no, not only confusion but pain too.”
What made this book a great read was the way it was narrated. There was no sugarcoating or half-said things. It was all laid raw and truthful. It felt real and believable, something that was actually happening as I tried to make the pages fly by faster. This is a book full of reflection of some views we might have of certain people’s appearances, regardless of what they do for a living and how. It deals with racism even in this millennium, family troubles, self-discovery and how life isn’t always easy for anyone. We’re all sinners one way or another. Like the song, There Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked. A great read, though a bit mature.
Rating: 4 stars
***All quotations were taken from an uncorrected proof.***
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