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Book Review – Eating the Forbidden Fruit by Roland Page

I wrote this review for Chick Lit Café – Check out their site for reviews & book marketing.

Sold our souls for greed – made mistakes without learning – death clears our vision (reminding us that life has a time limit).  These are some of things we encounter in Eating the Forbidden Fruit.  Although this is a piece of fiction, it reads like an autobiography, and readers of that genre will love it.  Roland Page has put together a gripping family/crime fiction that moved me to tears several times.

As I read this novel I was struck with the thought ‘what makes me qualified to review this?’ I’ve never felt that about a book before, it caused me to sit back and contemplate on what I was reading.  I am a middle-aged, white, suburban housewife from England.  This is a story about a young black man living in the US, in a world I know nothing about.  Then I saw it.  We are the same.  We live.  We bleed.  We die.  Our blood runs through our veins making our hearts beat while supplying oxygen to our brains, so that we can – think, feel, love and hope.  Whoever we are, wherever we live, we are the same.  That is how thought-provoking I found this.

This is a story about hope, and what defines a person.  Is it the choices we make?  Roland starts his life off not always making the right decisions, one day some of those choices come back to haunt him.  This book begins and ends with a court case, what happens in-between those chapters are the steps that lead up to that courtroom.  Like many things in life the pivotal catalyst of this event, is not one but many things.  We all fall from grace now and again, but it’s how we get up and move forward that defines us.  Without these struggles we might never appreciate the things we have.  This theory is highlighted in this marvelously gripping book.  Two worlds collide when Roland joins St Louis Metropolitan Police department, a shady past of drugs that’s entwined with the love and fierce loyalty of his family and friends, and his dedication to justice and doing the right thing in the force.

For me the underlying heartbeat of this novel, isn’t the troubled upbringing and crazy choice making, it is that having the love of a person that’s true and altruistic is stronger than the pull of the world, stronger than drugs, stronger than childhood ties and even stronger than habits.  Without love everything is meaningless.  My favorite line from the book is: Wherever Tracey laid her head was home to me.  A close second is: I wasn’t a complete asshole, just a part-time one! Roland Page bravely reveals his thoughts to us in this touching and tenderly-open story.  If you appreciate honest autobiographies, crime or family stories you are going to drink this up, enjoy the tale but then, if you’re like me, you might get to reflect on your own choices.

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