Book of the Month: Shameful Karma: My Best Friend’s Husband
Author: Iliyah Berry
Publisher: Blazing Pages Publications
Format: Kindle E-Book
Page Numbers: 156
‘Shameful Karma: My Best Friend’s Husband’ is the first book in the ‘Shameful Karma’ trilogy, which tells the story of the actions and decision of Savannah, which leads to the karma of others and herself, having a detrimental effect on her relationship with loved ones.
The introduction shaped my initial impression of the book and the protagonist as I was met with her short-tempered but confident persona whilst interacting with her nemesis as well as strangers. The causes of her pent-up anger are immediately discovered within the first few pages, which I admired as I prefer not to have to beat around the bush in a plot.
An important of the aspect of any book which I perceived was missing in this novel was the ability to visualise the characters. If it was not for the front cover which was a visual aid for the appearance of Savannah and John, then I would not even have an idea of the look for the main character and her lover. Additionally, I noticed that there weren’t any characters I could familiarise myself with, which may not be a negative point for some readers, however, I find it difficult to fully engage in a plot if the characters are not relatable. Funnily enough, one character I particularly disliked was Savannah, due to her abrupt honesty and utter lack of sympathy towards her friends, even if she was proven right in the situation.
Key topics that were addressed in the book include the anti-blackness some black men perpetuate in regards to their ‘preferences’ in a lover; the dependency on therapy for black women who need that external source in order to cope; her hostile upbringing and relationship with her mother resulting in her being unsatisfied with peace. A big spoiler, for me, was that the ‘main’ plot of the story did not begin until, in fact, chapter 22, which, by then, was reaching the closing of the book. Whether or not this was intentional, as the relationship between the protagonist and her lover seems to continue throughout the next two books, it makes the first book out of the trilogy appear to simply be a filler used to introduce the characters and, at times, unnecessary sub-plots.
Overall, this book was a very interesting read. It is clear that the protagonist’s favourite word is ‘revenge’, as this theme exists throughout the book. As someone who believes revenge to be futile, I could not sympathise with her when her acts backfired on her because as the title states ‘karma’ has a way of getting back to you; as it certainly did for Savannah. I would recommend this book to readers who may enjoy the mess that surrounds the life of a strong, but petty, main character. However, due to the mundane plot and my inability to familiarise myself with any of the characters, I would not read it again in a hurry.
I often wondered why black men didn’t defend us black women the way white men defend white women.
If you have any recommendations for us to read, then let us know! Comment below, and we’ll check it out!