Review: Orange Mint and Honey by Carleen Brice

orange-mint-and-honey
Photo Credit: Ballantine Books, Random House

Carleen Brice, author of the award-winning novel Orange Mint and Honey, will appear at Englewood Public Library’s Author Open House this Sunday, April 19, 1-3 p.m. The library is located at 1000 Englewood Parkway.

Orange Mint and Honey is Brice’s first published novel. It has received the “Breakout Author of the Year Award” from the African American Literary Awards Show as well as the “First Novelist Award” from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

Also named a “recommended read” by Essence magazine and a “bookmarked breakout book” by Target, Orange Mint has been optioned for a movie by Lifetime Television.

Earlier this year, Denver’s Lighthouse Writers called readers’ attention to Brice’s Washington Post essay about the difficulties that African American authors experience in finding publishers and even in selling their books after receiving excellent reviews.

It was this insightful essay that led me to Orange Mint at one of my local libraries.   I just couldn’t put the book down until I reached the last page.

Orange Mint is the sad yet sassy story of Shay, a depressed, failing graduate student, who is tormented by apparitions of Nina Simone, one of her favorite singers. Shay has a vision of Simone telling her to “Go home.”

Shay can’t get on with life until she learns how to forgive her mother for the grim negligence of her childhood. It’s easy to imagine Shay nodding her head in agreement with the lyrics of  Nina Simone classic Ain’t Got No….

Alicia Rudnicki©, National Library Examiner, examiner.com, 2008

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