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If This World Were Mine [Paperback]

E. Lynn Harris
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

14 Jan 1999
In IF THIS WORLD WERE MINE, Harris introduces four new characters whose friendship and deep bonds of intimacy are threatened by conflicts of career and romance. Friends since their days at Hampton Institute, the four group members are as different as the seasons, yet they all share a love of one another. Yolanda, a media consultant keeps it going on with a no-nonsense attitude and independence that are balanced by the theatrics of Riley, a former marketing executive, whose marriage has reduced to 'a kept woman with kids'. Computer engineer Dwight's anger at the world is offset by the compassion of Leland, a gay psychiatrist, whose clients make him question why God ever invented sex. Together, these four friends keep a collective journal they call 'If this World Were Mine' and share their personal diaries each month. But after five years, the once-strong bonds of friendship are weakening, and the group must handle challenges of work, lost love, and a stranger in their midst....

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (14 Jan 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751523712
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751523713
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,443,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Harris is a wonderful writer (San Francisco Chronicle)

Harris's talent as a writer has increased with each of his books . His stories have become the toast of bookstores, reading groups, men, women and gay and straight people (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

There is a universality about his characters - so human, so earnest, so genuine - that 'crossover (readers are embracing the books as well')

San Francisco Chronicle

Book Description

*In the romantic storytelling vein of Terry McMillan, the New York Times bestseller about friendship, race and betrayal.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
I've just stepped out of the shower and I'm standing in front of the full-length mirror on the bathroom door of my junior suite at the Omni Berkshire in New York City, near Fifty-second and Madison. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, Moving, and full of heart 13 July 2000
By H. Callaghan VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had had "Invisible Life" recommended to me and enjoyed it, so I thought I would give this a try.
"If This World Were Mine" is a much better book on many levels - the device of the journals is used to illustrate the well-drawn characters to their best effect, as you see how they try and frame their real experience through the journals, which makes their tensions and conflicts all the more apparent.
The character-driven plot was believable despite being generously salted with coincidence, and the style is unpretentious, likeable, and easy-going.
The ending veers towards the sweet-saccharine, but in counterpoint, just after the climactic party, we get to see Basil, who has so far appeared something of a cardboard villain, and we get a sudden, startling flash of insight into him and his reasons. It balances the book just right and made for compulsive reading.
I'd cheerfully recommend this to anyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I had never read a book by E. Lynn Harris before reading If This World Were Mine, but after reading it I will read all his other books. The way that he writes makes for an easy but sophisticated read. You can really feel for the characters and get into the story....very life like...you can picture it easily. He writes women well, emotionally and physically. I think that the story behind the story everyone can relate to, friendship, love and secrets, and how hard it can be truthfull to a friend. All in all a fantastic book.....A must read for sure.....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This was the first of E Lynn Harris' books I read and I have to say I was hooked from the word go. The story caught my attention instantly and wasn't letting my thoughts stray. A warm story about close freinds and all the things that can and do happen. No mushiness, no harsh in-your-face confrontation. I want everyone I know to read this book, to share the enjoyment I got from this story. E Lynn Harris has a wonderful talent for telling a story I'm glad he shared it with us. I'm a lifetime fan now, Mr Harris, please hurry and write the next one!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read 6 Oct 2005
By "she83"
Format:Paperback
This book was one of the first I read it had me hooked some things happened in the story that disappoited me but overall its a really good book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  91 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read 15 Jun 2000
By S. Bishop - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Years after graduation from Hampton University, this circle of friends keeps in touch through periodic meetings and journal writing. This is E. Lynn Harris' fourth novel so you know that at least one of the main characters is a gay man with a good heart. The infamous Basil Henderson appears in this story as well and adds twists to the lives of many. This time, though, E. Lynn sheds a little more light on Basil's background and you can, at least try, to understand why he behaves the way he does.
I liked this book because it is real about the friendships it portrays. Nearly 20 years after college, these characters are still fighting, loving and learning from each other. The familiarity of the families, college life and professional pursuits make this book very easy to read and relate to. For those who love his stories, this is a good one.
If This World Were Mine is crying for a sequel to tie up lots of loose threads.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it!!! 15 Nov 1997
By Dawn R Reeves - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I've read all of Mr. Harris' novels and I anxiously await his next release. I never thought that I would enjoy reading about the gay underworld and how it relates to the heterosexual community. Mr. Harris' novels have helped me to keep an open mind when dealing with and accepting differences.
I also enjoy how the character Basil slowly but surely creeps into Mr. Harris' novels. With this book I was able to finally realize what issues Basil was dealing with. I hope the character, Basil and his healing is explored in furture novels. A great, great book.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Quite possibly the WORST book I've ever read. 13 Aug 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
You would be hard-pressed to find an unlikelier cast of characters or a thinner premise within the annals of literature than what you find here in Mr. Harris' latest offering. Getting together monthly to read your journal entries, and, which is worse, listening to the entries of others? Come on. I'd have a hard time with such an assignment if it were part of the curriculum of a required college course much less voluntarily submit to the ordeal. Harris should have come up with a more believable pretext for getting these disparate people together. As usual, the prose advancing Harris' storyline is flat and uninteresting, peppered with Creative Writing 101 descriptive phrases which render the whole exercise hackneyed and trite. Fans of E. Lynn Harris must not get out much, nor read much other fiction if they truly believe "This is the best book I ever read!". Among black authors, Toni Morrison is a vastly superior writer; among gay black authors, James Baldwin is without peer. Come on, people, broaden your literary horizons!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothin but praise for E Lynn! 4 Aug 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
First and formost let me warn you that if you pick this book up, be prepared to call in late the next morning. It is that good. The book focuses on the lives of four individuals from very different backgrounds and perspectives and how their lives come together to form a bond that violance, feelings of being deceived or even bad siniging can not break.

It is a book that as a man I can assure you it will make you laugh, think, cry (not that I did mind you), and simply smile. There are stong male charaters in the book as well as women who don't lose their minds while they are waiting to exhale.

So buy it. . . and think of a good excuse for your boss tomorrow.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FOUR OUT OF FOUR 13 April 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I READ THIS BOOK IN ABOUT ONE QUICK WEEKEND AND I FOUND IT TO BE ONE OF MR. HARRIS BEST WORK SINCE "INVISIBLE LIFE" IT'S WONDERFUL TO KNOW THAT SOME PEOPLE STILL MAINTAIN COLLEGE FRIENDSHIPS INSTEAD OF GOING THEIR SEPARATE WAYS. I CHEERED FOR EACH OF THE CHARACTERS BECAUSE THEY EACH TAUGHT ME SOMETHING. RILEY IS LIVING PROOF THAT MONEY DOESN'T ALWAYS BUY YOU HAPPINESS, LELAND IS STILL A STRONG PROUD GAY MAN WHO DIDN'T GIVE UP ON LOVE, DWIGHT CAME TO TERMS WITH THE FACT THAT HIS HATRED FOR WHITES CAME FROM A PAIN FUL EXPERIENCE FROM CHILDHOOD AND YOLANDA STILL MANAGED TO HAVE FAITH IN HER FRIENDS AND STILL GO ON DESPITE THE MOST CRUEL BETRAYAL THAT ANY PERSON COULD IMAGINE. I ALSO FAMILIARIZED MYSELF WITH BASIL HENDERSON AND ALTHOUGH HE GOT HIS PAYBACK BIGTIME THE WAY HE DESERVED IT, WE DO UNDERSTAND THAT BEHIND THE FACADE OF BEING SUPERSTUD, THERE LIES A VERY LONELY AND EMBITTERED MAN WHO WILL NEVER FIND LOVE WITH ANOTHER MAN OR WOMAN BECAUSE DEEP DOWN HE DOESN'T LOVE HIMSELF AND HE STILL WRESTLES WITH THE HORROR OF HIS CHILDHOOD. IT'S ALSO REFRESHING TO KNOW THAT MR. HARRIS'S BOOKS ARE ENJOYING A CROSSOVER AUDIENCE AND THAT STRAIGHT PEOPLE NOW REALIZE THAT GAY PEOPLE ARE ALSO HUMAN AS WELL.
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