This was the second novel of Gloria Naylor's that was assigned to me by Dr.Taylor-Thompson(Texas Southern U.) and at first I found it to be a strange and complex book. I often talked with Dr.Thompson to make sure I was getting the point. To my surprise I was and started to enjoy the book once I realized what was going on. The story I've been told mirrors that of Amiri Baraka's(LeRoi Jones)Dante's Inferno, which I also plan to read.
What I found so compelling about this story was how the residence seem to believe they were nothing if they didn't live on certain streets within Linden Hills, an affluent African American suburb. They were educated, money hunger and strange all in one. Willie the main character and narrator, along with his bestfriend Lester take us on a journey beyond the walls of these strange peoples homes and into their lives for an unforgettable experience. They introduce us to people like Luther Nedeed, Willa Prescott-Nedeed, Xavier Donnell, Rev.Michael T.Hollis and Laurel Dumont to name a few. What the story reveals is greed, the need for power and more power and the hierachy of what they believed life to truly be. I'm planning and looking forward to reading this book again. Naylor's style of writing maybe complex at first but, you'll soon get over that and find the book very thought-provoking. You'll then be hooked ready to read her other wondeful novels. I recommend this book to all, especially english teachers in middle school and beyond for their students