★★★★ The novel Black Cherry by Henrietta D. Elmore-Smith is the story of Mashé Boston, Rhial Curry, and Eila Wynston and their friendship that lasts from childhood until late into their lives. The only three black girls from their wealthy neighborhood, the bond between them quickly becomes very strong, and their personalities complement each other, drawing them even closer still. Mashé is the main character in the book, and she is portrayed as a strong, independent woman who is a published poet and college professor. The complicated story of the men in Mashé’s life and the near perfect description of her marriage make up the majority of the book, along with telling of Rhial’s pregnancy and Eila’s struggle to find some luck in love. Black Cherry is a moving tale about the trials of life, friendship, the pain of infidelity, and lost love, along with the beauty and joy that life often holds.
The plot of this novel is wonderfully told, and though at times the dialogue seems a bit forced, with each of the characters speaking in an extremely proper manner that few people seem to use in their daily lives, it is for the most part beautifully written. The twists in the plot are interesting and well thought out, from love triangles to chance meetings of past lovers. The book is often riveting, with aspects of danger coming up at unexpected times throughout the plot, all the while being full of moving events that bring the friends and their spouses closer together. The importance and rarity of lifelong friendship is often stressed, and Mashé, Rhial, and Eila make theirs last despite a little drama and competition throughout the novel.
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