Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Hood Life-Meesha Mink and De’nesha Diamond

The Hood Life
Meesha Mink and De’nesha Diamond
Tochstone, Jan 2009
ISBN: 1416577092

Cleo and Ophelia have lived in the hood, the Bentley Manor Housing Project in Georgia for over four decades. They know there are many good residents trying to make an honest dollar and there are criminals who seek easy cash. The pair watches the neighborhood activities and at times intervenes.

Tavon "Sweet" Johnson is an amoral upscale pimp who has escaped the hood by selling sex at his clubs and at hi crib. However his idyll affluent life is shook to the core when a former girlfriend dumps at his mother’s house a fifteen year old girl that she insists is his daughter. Sweet takes his offspring to his mansion where his wife Renee makes it clear the teen is unwanted.

Demarcus has just gotten out of prison and is haunted by his crime and needing to adhere to the Koran wants to go straight, but no one wants anything to do with an ex-con. With his girlfriend Zoey pregnant, he is offered a job that will take them out of the hood if he is not caught.

Kaseem runs drugs in the hood, but when his crackhead former girlfriend gives him his infant son to raise, he wants out of trafficking and Bentley Manor. A betrayal by his best friend forces him to react in a way that if caught he will spend his life behind bars.

Rhakmon is the smoothest playa in the hood. He can sell anything especially himself to any woman. When he kills someone he promises his girlfriend, Shaterica they will marry if she confesses to having committed the homicide. She does time while he does other women. Cleo and Ophelia deploy to clean up this scenario.

Living in the hood is not easy, but people have choices although sometimes the options are painful. The men select crime to include murder, pimping, drug peddling and more until revelations (mostly the next generation) makes each of them reconsider what they have done as others pay the price for their folly. As with DESPERATE HOODWIVES and SHAMELESS HOODWIVES, the return to THE HOOD brings out the worst and best of Atlanta with an overarching message of hope.

Harriet Klausner