The FIRST review for Gotta Keep on Tryin'!
Writing a sequel to Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made was a huge challenge for us. We were going back to a story and characters readers felt very personally about--and believe us, over the years, y'all have let us know how personal! (Thank you.) So during the past year, our trepidation has been great. Worry. Worry. Worry. We tried to do our best AND yes, our editor and our agent told us they loved the book, AND we've heard good things from family and friends but when this arrived from ---OUT THERE--where the readers are, we breathed a little easier--only a little because there are lots more of you.
So we asked and were granted permission to share Angela's review.
Gotta Keep on Tryin’ was worth the ten-year wait!
I began reading this sequel to Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You’ve Made with much anticipation, for even though I was not one of the fans who clamored for a continuation of the Pat-Marcus-Gayle story, I did wonder what became of the three lifelong friends. I remember sitting up all night some years ago, reading Tryin' to Sleep…, even though I had to be at work by 7AM.
I was so caught up in this tale of friendship that my box of tissue was right next to my pillow—smile. I also remember writing you a letter expressing my appreciation for the satisfying all-night read. Since then, I have become quite a fan of your work, attending the first Tom Joyner/Sybil Wilkes Book Club gathering with you all at Showcase Eatery in Atlanta, later conducting a recorded interview with you at the Omni Hotel for Imani’s then monthly radio spot B(u)y the Book with Hal Lamar on WAOK in Atlanta, and often being present at most of your Atlanta signings.
I couldn’t attend BEA this year; however, at my request, a good friend and co-owner of Special Occasions in Winston-Salem, NC mailed me her reader’s proof of Gotta Keep on Tryin’ which I will send back to her today. Again, I began reading your book and ended up completing it early this morning with a box of tissue next to me in the bed; again, I find myself sitting here writing you (this time at the computer—smile) to express to you, Donna and Virginia, that I have thoroughly enjoyed the read! You maintained the integrity of the original novel and of your three main characters. I found myself talking to them, warning them, chastising them and cheering them on! That means that I applaud the way you put pen to paper to create realistic tales. Thank you for not compromising your gift. Imani Literary Group has already chosen to reread and discuss Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You’ve Made at our December meeting as our flashback novel in anticipation that Gotta Keep Tryin’ will be out in time for your book tour stop in Atlanta so that we may either meet with you both and discuss it or host one of your signings here.
Thanks Angela, you've made us two happy writers.
At the end of the week, we plan to post a teaser--a synopsis of Gotta.