Southern Girl Book Review-“A Belle in Brooklyn”

Elle and Belle!

It’s a hot June night.  I’m driving around downtown DC looking for a parking space.  I’m already late, but I’m hoping to find something close so I can hurry and get in.  Just when I give up and decide to go home, I find a parking space right across the street from my destination.  (God is looking out and WANTS me to attend.) 

I know I’m the last person to walk into the room, but I’m ok with that.  I hear the guest of honor answer one last question and then announce books are for sale and she’ll be signing them, too.  After speaking to a few friends, I grab a copy and wait my turn to speak and get my book autographed.  When I make my way to the table, I gush a little and sound somewhat like a fan (no matter how hard I try not to), but surprise of all surprises, I get a compliment on my necklace! (Thanks “Auntie” Madeline!)  We smile for the camera, I thank her for her time, and make my way to the exit.  I got what I came for, now it’s time to go home, well, after I hit the bar for a signature cocktail made especially for the event.  I had no idea how what was put on these pages would affect my life. 

I was so caught up with A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-To Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life the first time I read it that I don’t think I really comprehended anything.  Demetria Lucas, Relationship Editor for Essence magazine, was talking to ME when she wrote this book.  It wasn’t a self-help book or even an advice book.  It was my girl telling me about her relationship woes-the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I knew I wanted to share my thoughts, but I had to read it again to fully appreciate this gem.  I began reading this book again last week, after finishing it the first time in June, not long after I purchased it. 

I appreciate Demetria for sharing her memoir.  If the book is looked at on the surface, one may think it’s the story of this woman who is bragging about the men she’s dated.  But if the time is taken to dig a little deeper, you see the story of a woman who never backed down, stood up for what she wanted, and never compromised herself, just to say she had a may-an.  We can learn from all of Demetria’s experiences-like how to handle the jock on campus, how to handle the hurt of a true love, and even how to handle date rape.  These stories are shared not to boast, but to teach.  And it’s up to the reader to find your own lesson.

What did Elle get from the book?  During Round 1, I laughed, I cringed, and I was slightly jealous a time or two.  😉 With this most recent reading?  I gained insight.  I used her honesty, bluntness, and openness to affect my life, especially with how I interacted with members of the opposite sex.  I am now more open and honest with others, specifically when it comes to the men that I date.  I no longer have a problem stating what I want and staying true to who I am.  This book was spendidly written with a candidness that you feel like Demetria is your homegirl and you all are going to be hitting up brunch at Busboys and Poets on Saturday (if she’s home for the weekend). 

Did you read the book?  Or, if you remember this summer, did you attend the event at The Park?  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have encouraged others to read it.  I’m sure it will look like my favorite books, worn from reading over and over again.  I’m very impressed, and I’m sure when Demetria writes book # 2, I’ll be at the next book signing (and will arrive on time!)  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

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