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  • Writer's pictureNia Forrester

'The Secret Lives of Church Ladies' by Deesha Philyaw

This collection, about women struggling between the dictates of society and spirituality, and the desires of their own hearts was difficult, delicious, heartbreaking and affirming. I recognized the women Deesha Philyaw depicted in these stories, and both knew and wanted to know them better. There wasn't a single inauthentic moment, though there was a sliver of an agenda or point of view about the hypocrisy that sometimes lies beneath religious observance and the ways moralizing can obscure deeper truths about who people are.

Apart from the women themselves, I also loved this author's voice--clear and concise in delivery, emotionally accessible and not overly lofty. I got to the end far too soon and found myself wishing and hoping that sometime soon this writer will deliver for us a full-length novel. Recommended.

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