What's a Woman Gotta Do

Evelyn Coleman
Simon & Schuster, 1998. 320pp
ISBN: 0-684-83175-9

review by Harriet Klausner

Orphaned as an infant and subsequently shuttled form one foster home to another taught Patricia Conley to be wary of people. For thirty-one years, Patricia remained aloof from men until Kenneth Towson bursts into her life. Patricia grabs at the chance of happiness he offers her. She agrees to marry him even though she knows he has many secrets that he has kept form her. She is unaware that most of them are international in scope to include covert operations.

Patricia is stood up at the alter. Soon, she obtains a priceless diamond that everyone seems to want. These two events make her realize the magnitude of trouble she might be facing. Unable to distinguish friend from foe or whether Kenneth even still lives, she begins an investigation that will lead to her spiritual rebirth. Her epiphany allows her to confront the dark forces that try to overwhelm her.

Evelyn Coleman has captured the essence of a black woman's soul with her first adult novel, What's a Woman Gotta Do. Using street vernacular, Ms. Coleman provides her reader with the inner thought processes of black female Americans living in Atlanta. The story line is fast-paced and action packed, and Patricia is one hell of a lead protagonist. However, what makes this novel a refreshing experience is the African-American essence that is well written and will turn Ms. Coleman into an award winning author.

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