This debut novel provides a witty and sophisticated look at African American women's lives. In the same market as the late best-seller Bebe Moore Campbell and Terry McMillan, it is daring, oh so gutsy, and a read to be savored over and over again...!
DELANEY COKER is a mid-twenties novelist and socialite who struggles to find her own identity separate from that of her influential boyfriend and his esteemed family throughout the novel. In a quest to find herself and live her life for herself instead of always adhering to the forced social consciousness that her status demands, she stumbles through an unwanted engagement to him. As she juggles all of the aspects of her demanding life, she finds that even her writing career is slipping away from her. Just as she seems to find her own footing in both her personal and professional life, everything is once again turned upside down when she falls for her best friend's rivalincidentally, her fiancé's friendwho will offer her a way out of the life that she is beginning to feel oppressed in. But will she take it? As she begins walking the line of depression, alcoholism and maintaining her façade and her life begins to spiral out of control, Laney begins a quest to regain her equilibrium that turns her into a person she would never have imagined while forcing her to decide once and for all who she will she choose to be and who she will choose to be with in the end.
Meanwhile, her best friend NATALIE BENOIT, a French-speaking Mulatto from Quebec who's never known her father and is now estranged from her mother, fights a battle within herself to re-establish her self-confidence and learn who she really is. When she meets a man who doesn't play by her rules and a scorned female ex wiggles back into her life, she finds that she is finally forced to make choices about her sexuality and how committed she is willing to let herself become. But will she be able to overcome the sexual abuse issues from her childhood that have shaped who she is and are still chasing her today?
A mix of cultural exploration, an examination of the trauma of of dealing with childhood rape, and a first-hand look at being a woman in a "man's" business world, Snakes and Ladders is the first in a 4 part series of which 3 novels have been written. Reminiscent of the film Crash, it is told from four points of view, illustrating the weaving and colliding of the lives of the main characters, these collisions often unbeknownst to all of the characters at any given time. This novel, tinged with a tongue-in-cheek sort of humor, it's a realistic look at a society reminiscent of W.E.B. Dubois' "Talented Tenth," the trials that plague their everyday lives and issues that are so often whispered about behind closed doors but rarely addressed head on.