Black girls must be magic A novel

Jayne Allen, 1978-

Book - 2022

"Discovering she's pregnant--after she was told she may not be able to have biological children--Tabitha throws herself headfirst into the world of "single mothers by choice." When an unexpected turn of events draws Marc--her on and off-again ex-boyfriend--back into her world with surprising demands, and the situation at work begins to threaten her livelihood and her identity, Tabitha must make some tough decisions. It takes a village to raise a child, and Tabitha turns to the women who have always been there for her. Will she harness the bravery, strength, and self-love she'll need to keep "the village" together, find her voice at work, and settle things with Marc before the baby arrives? "--‡cProv...ided by publisher.

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Domestic fiction
New York, New York : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2022]
Main Author
Jayne Allen, 1978- (author, -)
Item Description
"Originally published as Black Girls Must Die Exhausted: and Baby Makes Two in 2019 by Quality Black Books."--from title page verso.
Physical Description
260 pages ; 24 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Allen (Black Girls Must Die Exhausted) shines in her second installment of a planned trilogy about a career-driven Black woman. After being told her egg reserves are poor, Los Angeles TV reporter Tabby Walker decides to have a baby on her own via a sperm donor and in vitro fertilization--but it turns out that after the embryo transfer of a boy, she becomes pregnant with a girl by her ex-boyfriend Marc, a "man-baby" who didn't want children during their relationship. With the unfailing support of her best friends, Laila and Alexis, and her wise octogenarian friend and future "glam-maw" Ms. Gretchen, Tabby prepares for motherhood. As she considers her options for the future and the role she wants for Marc in her life, Allen brings nuance and empathy to the subjects of infertility and single motherhood. Meanwhile, a subplot at Tabby's work involving racist letters from viewers about her hair adds tension and illuminates the range of adversities she faces. All the while, Allen's sharp, frank prose advances the engaging plot ("I had a healthy baby, but would we have a healthy life now that Marc was involved?"). This bittersweet treat will have wide appeal with women's fiction fans. Agent: Lucinda Halpern, Lucinda Literary. (Feb.)

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Review by Library Journal Review

Allen's solid follow-up to Black Girls Must Die Exhausted sees her characters navigating the many societal issues Black women face. No longer waiting for her undependable occasional boyfriend Marc to become that reliable partner she wants in life, Tabby Walker takes her future and her fertility into her own hands. Her desire to become pregnant through a fertility clinic proves successful; now expecting, she puts up with negative comments about single mothers. Not only does she have to worry about having a healthy pregnancy, but trouble at work causes sleepless nights. As a television news reporter and the only Black woman at her station, she strives to adhere to certain expectations when it comes to her appearance. Her recent hairstyle change when she wore her natural hair brought in a flood of complaints from viewers. Facing challenges from all quarters, Tabby relies on her close friends and family to gain the confidence she needs to become her authentic self. VERDICT. Fans of Terry McMillan will enjoy this humorous and entertaining novel.--Joy Gunn

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

Following the events of Black Girls Must Die Exhausted (2018), Tabitha Walker courageously navigates a risky pregnancy, an old flame, and workplace racism in Allen's delightful sequel. After the death of her beloved Granny Tab less than a year ago, Tabitha refuses to waste any more time on starting a family. Last year's medical diagnosis of premature ovarian reserve failure encouraged Tab to do in vitro fertilization with a sperm donor, and she's just received the life-changing news: She's having a son. Tab plans to raise the child alone as a "single mother by choice, much to the dismay of her ex-boyfriend Marc. Although they've been friends-with-benefits for the past few months, she hopes he will join the village (including her friends Alexis and Laila; unconventional doula Andouele; and Granny Tab's best friend, Ms. Gretchen, who's going to be the "glam-maw") that it will take to help raise her baby. But then her doctor unleashes a bombshell: The baby is a girl, which means it isn't the embryo he implanted. Which means that the baby is Marc's. Suddenly, Tab's carefully laid plans for the future go haywire in all aspects of her life. Chris, her ratings-hungry boss at the TV station where she works as a news reporter, informs her that viewers have filed complaints about seeing her natural hair on air; Marc wants to be more than friends; and her father might be having an affair, again. Over the course of nine months, Tab can't help but wonder whether this is the happy ending she chose for herself or whether it was simply decided for her. Author Allen moves through Tabitha's pregnancy at an efficient pace, writing with flowing, poetic prose, as in this passage when Tabitha unloosens her braids: "They felt glorious, like thick grapevines hanging from my scalp. I let my eyes linger on them lovingly. This moment was my truth. Here I was, the real me--unfurled, free, unrestrained, wild in my spirit and natural in my appearance." Tabitha's journey is raw and real, and Allen's description of the different realities of motherhood is exceedingly authentic and powerful, as demonstrated through this moniker that Tabitha applies to herself: "single mother by courage." An exceptional sequel that will leave readers eager for more. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.