Reviews for House Divided
Kirkus Reviews 2013 April #2
The Black family is ecstatic: Son Matthew and his girlfriend, Racquel, are about to deliver the very first grandchild. But squabbling between the two grandmothers threatens to irrevocably divide the family. The 10th in Roby's (The Reverend's Wife, 2012, etc.) series following the adventures of Rev. Curtis Black (a potentially reformed adulterous minister) focuses on his third wife. Unfortunately, Charlotte is an egocentric, paranoid, mean-spirited woman, which makes for an unpleasant reading experience. Jealous of Racquel's mother, Vanessa, and her access to the baby even before it is born, Charlotte is determined to get her fair share of face time. She wants Curtis to baptize the child, even though Matthew and Racquel have decided upon Pastor Collins; she wants the child called Matthew the Second, even though Matthew and Racquel have chosen Matthew Jr.; she wants to plan his resume, even though Matthew and Racquel plan to give him a loving, accepting extended family. Vanessa tries to block Charlotte, bristling not only at her domineering behavior, but also at her husband's obvious attraction to Charlotte. The two grandmothers' animosity erupts into an altercation at the baby shower, which sends Racquel into premature labor and Vanessa into taking even higher-security measures. Charlotte responds by plotting vengeance. The baby does deserve a better mother, right? Meanwhile, Curtis has troubles of his own as mysterious, threatening messages arrive. Who's trying to blackmail him? Who's trying to destroy his financially lucrative Deliverance Outreach church? Burdened with stiff exposition--summarizing both Charlotte's and Curtis' many transgressions--and flat dialogue, Roby's tale plods along, punctuated with occasional outbursts of excitement. A soap opera filled with people indulging in bad behavior. Fans of the Black family's misplaced haloes will love this latest installment. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Library Journal Express Reviews
In the tenth entry (after The Reverend's Wife) in the popular Rev. Curtis Black series, Charlotte and Curtis Black eagerly await the arrival of their first grandchild, but Charlotte ruins the happy occasion when she becomes possessive over the baby. Vanessa, the maternal grandmother, confronts Charlotte about her behavior, and a battle erupts between the two. A growing attraction between Charlotte and Vanessa's husband throws readers yet another messy and captivating turn. Curtis appears to be doing fine until he starts receiving strange letters and phone calls from a mysterious enemy threatening to reveal a long-forgotten secret no one, not even Charlotte, knows. Verdict A deeper exploration of the challenges that Matthew, the Blacks' son, faces as a teenage father might have been interesting. Nevertheless, Roby delivers a well-developed and entertaining plot and fascinating characters readers just love to hate. A good choice for fans of popular African American fiction.--Lisa Jones, Birmingham P.L., AL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.