MEMPHIS READS: Better Late than Never by Kimberla Lawson Roby

Syma reviews BETTER LATE THAN NEVER by Kimberla Lawson Roby (Grand Central Publishing, 2018.) If you’re looking for a bucket of tears, unexpected twists, or family issues, you are definitely going to keep reading this novel by Kimberla Lawson Roby.

This is the fifteenth and final novel of the Curtis Black series so I should warn you that you should with the first novel, Casting the First Stone , if you have any interest in this series. None will disappoint you. The Reverend Black and his wife Charlotte have always lived the good life throughout their marriage but have made the mistake of indulging their 12 year old daughter, Curtina, with luxuries a pre-teenager should not have. She has been spoiled with a high quality cell phone, a $50 weekly allowance, and weekend sleepovers. Because she has been so indulged, Curtina’s attitude is changing drastically- for the worse.

This when Trina- Curtis’ only sibling- decides to teach a life lesson to the Blacks and to every reader out there. You’ll need to read this novel to find out what that is exactly. Ms. Roby takes Trina and Curtis back to a place where they’d rather not remember because of their father who abused them and terrrorized their mother. Child and wife torturer should have been on Thomas Black’s headstone.

While Trina is doling out wisdom, wife Charlotte gives insight on what it has taken to be Curtis Black’s partner, tenured first lady of their huge congregation, a recovering alcoholic, and stepmother to Curtis’ headstrong children. While spoiling their child, Curtis and Charlotte should have combined that with disciplining a 12 year old when she got out of line. Of course, they’re thinking it is too late to reign Curtina back in. In the words of the scripture, “Spoil the child, but do not spare the rod.”

This is definitely a tearjerker but deserves any and all awards and accolades it receives. Well done, Ms. Roby!