Thursday, 3 March 2011

Gotham Diaries by Tonya Lewis Lee and Crystal McCrary Anthony

When I interviewed author and journalist, Tia Williams a few years ago she mentioned that one thing that niggled her was that the Black middle and upper class were not portrayed in the media. I had to admit that she had a point - TV. films and books are surrounded with images of working class Blacks, single mothers and men in jail while images of high brow African Americans remain unseen. So when a fellow blogger mentioned a book called Gotham Diaries I had to check it out on Amazon. The book is about the upper elite of Manhattan who lead very privileged lives; characters such as Tandy Brooks who is a respected socialite is admired for her refined beauty and class. Manny Marks an ambitious social climber from Alabama who is bidding his time as a real estate broker, praying that he makes that one deal which will allow him to join the upper ranks. Gorgeous, Lauren Thomas is married to billionaire, Ed Thomas and lives the life of luxury but her husband's wandering eye marrs her perfect life. Together Tandy and Lauren enjoy the traps of wealth and position - with Manny riding at their coat tails - while their peers look on in admiration. However, when Tandy's husband dies suddenly her fortune takes a turn for the worse and she is forced to start selling her possessions. Tandy has worked too damm hard to give up her lifestyle and status and comes up with a cunning plan in order to get her life back on track. Unfortunately this involves ripping off Lauren and roping in Manny. 

I got into this book as soon as I finished the first page. It is totally compelling and seductive to read - the style is not too different from Snapped by Tracy Brown which reviewed a few weeks back as both books possess the bling factor. Gotham Diaries portrays the haves and the trying so hard to haves; the life of Lauren who has it all, Tandy who had it and lost and Manny who is trying to get it. I also love the minor characters such as the oh so fabulous NBA player, Daryl and his delectable wife whose newly acquired millions have granted them a place in the social elite pile. After reading this book I only realised that one of the authors is Tonya Lewis Lee aka Spike Lee's wife. The other author is Crystal McCrary Anthony, former wife of NBA star Greg Anthony so if anyone knows what it is like to mix and mingle with the upper crust of African American society then it is  more these two women. Interestingly enough both Tonya and Crystal are lawyers turned writers and TV producers. It makes sense now though as it is evidence that both women are taking us into their own worlds thus taking upon the best writing advice  - write about what you know. Gotham Diaries is wickedly written and takes cattiness to a new level. You will really dislike all the characters but at the same time be really intrigued by them. The book was actually released back in 2006 and I am shocked that I am only hearing about it now. I really hope someone makes it into a TV series or movie one day because these are stories that need to be told.

Gotham Diaries is available to buy on Amazon

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