Returning to Idlewild, Michigan and some of the characters who captured readers' hearts in her bestseller, What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, Pearl Cleage writes a beautifully realized work about modern times, second chances, and making a difference in other people's lives. Joyce Mitchell, widowed too young, has a full life as a social worker, one filled with purpose and good friends. But she's begun thinking about putting aside the black clothes she's found so easy to wear for so long and getting a red dress. She is also realizing that she needs something more in her life. When her best friend, Sister, fixes her up with the tallest, sexiest man she's ever met, she sees all sorts of possibilities -- and too many reasons why it's the wrong time to fall in love.
And Joyce has to quickly figure out what to do with the Sewing Circus, the all-girl group she founded to provide day care services and counseling to local girls, many of whom are single mothers. For many of these young women, the Sewing Circus is a lifeline amid drug problems and abusive relationships. But the government has decided not to fund her program, and Joyce is desperately looking for alternatives...while one of the Sewing Circus members finds herself fighting for her life in this provocative and blazingly frank look at contemporary African American issues and universal matters of the heart.
I Wish I Had a Red Dress