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Love Don't Live Here Anymore Paperback – 1 May 2003
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Randy Murphy was working hard at gaining a six-figure salary. In order to become one ot the top Ad Exec making that kind of money his job took him out of the country for months at a time. A fact his wife Mekhi found hard to live with and understand.
As the saying goes "When the mice is away the cats will play" and play is what they both did. An unexpected turn of events forces Randy and Mekhi to almost see a mirror image of themselves in their marriage.
This book is written for anyone who might've forgotten the true meaning of communication and the pain silent agreements can cause. I plan to pick up future books by this husband and wife duo.
Husband and wife authors Milner and Chiles, who are known for their nonfiction- he said/she said books on love and relationships, employ the same technique in their first novel. We hear from Randy first, who is in Paris as an advertising executive. He left his disgruntled wife Mekki, a dress designer, back home lonely, frustrated, and dissatisfied. Meanwhile Mekki finds solace in the arms of Marcus, Randy's best friend. A trip to Paris to try to repair the damage that has already been done proves to be disastrous. Can this marriage be saved?
I loved the writing, style and the voices of Randy and Mekki. We got to see their less than perfect personas. All of their fears, dreams, and fantasies were revealed. I didn't always like these characters. In fact, I spent a great deal of time cursing Mekki under my breath. Randy is an overachiever yet he has insecurities and sensitivities that most men will not admit to. I often wondered how these two got together in the first place (he wants children, she does not) because it seemed there was little communication to begin with. A secondary story line involving Mekki's parents' crumbling long time marriage is also a lesson about how precarious and vulnerable our relationships can be.
For me this was a mature read though the protagonists were in their late 20s, early 30s. It methodically detailed a message that was conveyed throughout the novel. Most couples do not put enough time and energy into making a marriage work (divorce statistics prove that). I enjoyed the glimpses of Paris and the differences in work ethics of the French and the Americans as well as the office politics. The one blight for me was Marcus and his reasons for stabbing his best friend in the back. I felt his character was underdeveloped because I had to make assumptions as to why. I gave this book a 4.5 rating but because of this detail I didn't feel comfortable rounding it up to a 5 for this review.
APOOO Book Club
There were loose ends that needed closure. Why didn't Mikhi or Randy ever really have a conversation with Marcus to understand his actions? What was Randy's relationship with Eliza after the bathroom deal? How realistic was it that all of the couple's family and friends felt that the marriage could or should be salvaged given the details of what happened.
This story was intersting and at times humorous. The character's were a little to "plastic" for my taste. So many contemperary novels by and about African-Americans center around character's that are top executives at Fortune 500 companies and driving luxury cars while wearing designer dudes. Although that's a nice contrast from the stories of "life in the hood" it's become a predicable setting for so many characters we read about. I wanted to feel something for these characters and the constant "buppie" references and label dropping wasn't impressive. Even while Randy hid in the closet at the high point of the story he mentioned the fact that he was standing on his expensive shoes.I found the constant references to their belongings a distraction right on up to the final chapter.