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Substitute me by Lori L. Tharps

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I finally read a contemporary novel that was satisfying, like a delicious meal made by Zora. Substitute Me by Lori L. Tharps almost did not end up on my bookshelf.  I was traveling back from Alabama, depositing my youngest son back at his university, when we decided to make a rest stop in Paducah, Kentucky.  Of course, the bookstore had lattes, bathrooms, and books - all things required for me to travel comfortably.  While waiting on a latte, I noticed this book on the shelf in the "African American Book Club" section.  Oh, no, I thought, not another one of those "urban fiction" tomes meant to be all things black literary works. I picked it up, turned it over, noticed the New York skyline, with the Twin Towers still in place, and was intrigued.  I read the back, flipped through a few pages, and was hooked. Lori Tharps set her novel, an observation of two modern young women finding their way in pre 9/11 New  York.  The writing felt as free and optimistic as th