Love, Lies, And Heartbreak – Review
Love, Lies, And Heartbreak is a collection of short stories by author Blaque Diamond. The title of the book is indicative of the sorts of stories you’ll find within it. There’s domestic abuse, betrayal, revenge, sex, and deceit. Blaque Diamond terms her work as Contemporary African-American fiction. She noted, in her recent interview with me, that this means some of her stories are tragic but true to real life. The author’s note at the beginning of Love, Lies, And Heartbreak showed me she has a good sense of humor too – talking about how the book might have some unintended side-effects – like the need to just smack somebody.
I read this book in one sitting. Having several short stories meant there was always something new only a few pages ahead. This kept me turning the pages at times when I’d normally stop for a break with a novel. The stories themselves were also to the point. The individual titles gave me an idea of where things were going and I’d read with purpose to get there. For example, The Other Woman, or You’re Not The Father. With them being short stories, there isn’t the same amount of time to build up a story and slowly develop the plot, so the titles helped. But this did lead to a degree of predictability in the story lines. Instead of predictability, I’d like to have seen Blaque Diamond build anticipation. This is a challenge, especially in a short story. But sometimes it’s just a matter of letting a little detail slip that then has the reader’s mind thinking about how that might come back into play later on.
Blaque Diamond’s style of writing is descriptive, yet simple and easy to read. One of her common descriptions is of the products the characters use when showering and in their post-shower skincare routines. Epsom bath salts, vanilla bean lotion, Japanese Cherry Blossom body wash, Ocean by Bath and Bodyworks. I got the sense that this routine was important to Blaque Diamond and it all made sense when she told me in her interview about her ‘side hustle’ making body butters and other skincare products. But I digress… This easy to read, yet descriptive style, really had me seeing the scene she was setting and for a paragraph or two at a time would find myself forgetting I was reading.
I rated Love, Lies, And Heartbreak three stars. I enjoyed reading it for its simple style and multiple stories. It’s rare for me to read a whole book in a single setting. I’m interested to see what Blaque Diamond might do with a full length novel, so will be looking out for one of her next releases. I’m particularly interested to see if Blaque Diamond can bring to a novel any of that wit I mentioned earlier.
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