Publisher/Date: Urban Books, Oct. 2007
Genre(s): Romance, Street Life
When it comes to STRAPPED, the latest novel from Laurinda D. Brown, several things come to mind.
Strapped to the childhood pain that carries into adulthood…
Strapped by an identity that you’re not quite sure is you…
Strapped and ready for anything that happens…
All this and more consumes the story of Strapped, which follows Mo from Brown’s 2006 novel, Walk Like a Man. Mo used to be Monique, until a life-changing moment strips her previous feminine identity in favor of the studded-out persona Mo adopts to help her deal. Leaving her family behind, Mo takes on the streets and finds the world accepts her as a man. It gets confusing when she finds love with Laquita, and Mo has to eventually reveal her true self.
Compounding issues is Mo’s mother, Elise, who lives in deep denial about the tragedy’s in both her and Mo’s life. It’s only wearing Mo down when she doesn’t have a mother she can turn to. They each have her own healing to do, especially when Mo’s thuggish ways get her landed in some hot water; she needs her mother more than ever.
Brown’s Strapped has some major issues going on: sexuality, abuse, and parental responsibility. She has clearly channeled Mo’s pain and anger, but also her confusion about her sexuality. It’s a debate many lesbians have had amongst each other: is your sexuality intrinsic or born from childhood tragedy? While many would disavow Mo’s lesbian confusion, Brown paints the picture that this is the reality for some women.
Strap up readers, cause this is definitely a dramatic ride.
Reviewed December 2007