Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bring on the Blessings, by Beverly Jenkins


Avon, ISBN 0061688401, January 2009

On her fifty-second birthday, Bernadine Brown catches her husband cheating with his secretary. This frees her from a marriage that has become dead, and with the help of a good lawyer, she gets out with $275 million. Free to do anything she wants, she spends some time indulging herself, but also looking for a purpose--because to whom much is given, from them much is expected. In time, she finds one--the town of Henry Adams, an historic all-black town in Kansas, founded by members of the Black Exodus in the 1870s, is broke, and is offering itself for sale.

Bernadine buys it, and sets about saving the town, an important piece of black American history, and a collection of dislocated children in need of a fresh start.

Money isn't magic, and things don't easily fall into place, but with the help of the mayor, a local schoolteacher, the local diner owner and veterinarian (yes, the same person), and their friends and family, as well as new residents recruited as foster parents for some of the children in need, she tackles the lack of jobs, the decaying infrastructure, the former mayor, the ex-mayor's pet pig, and a crooked banker,

This is a happy book, and a lot of fun, and saying anything more wouldn't be fair.

Recommended.