Somebody's Knocking at My Door
Set in mysterious New Orleans, Louisiana you will find Ms. Kristen Wakefield and her best friend and next-door neighbor, Angelique Fleming. Both ladies are strong, independent women who are searching for fulfillment in life and in love. Kristen hails from an upwardly mobile family and has decided to take wings and gain her independence from her family by moving to New Orleans. She has a job in an art museum and is busy soliciting art patrons' private collections for a permanent display of nineteenth century African American art. It is this solicitous activity that finds Kristen in the home of New Orleans premier art patron, Claudette Marie Estelle Thibodeaux Laurent and her much younger, much poorer husband (read gold digger) Maurice. Amid a scandal for which Kristen was totally unprepared, she finds herself in the position of having to resign from her museum job to keep scandal from permeating her career further.
Angelique is busy working on her dissertation for her doctorate in psychology and as a counselor in a local rehabilitation facility. Her dissertation can best be described as an exposé in the life of a formal exotic dancer and the socially acceptable behavior of a man's presence in such a place versus the preconceived notion that women who work there must be addicted to the wrong type of life. Angelique worked in a club as a dancer during her last two years in undergraduate school and takes it personally when she is judged on that alone. At first it seems unlikely that these two women, from different walks of life and with different frames of mind, could be friends at all. As the story progresses, their friendship is endearing and everlasting. It is nice to see friends not judging each other on outside merits but rather solely on trust and mutual understanding.
Kristen is clearly frustrated with the turn her life has taken in the Big Easy. She is fortunate enough to have a friend, Rafe Crawford, who gallantly comes to her rescue against the malicious Maurice. And rescue as a knight in shining armor he does. Their friendship blossoms and Rafe finds Kristen a job at a local art store working with Jacques. Rafe himself is a fine crafter of fine wood reproductions. A sweet and tender romance is blossoming between the two, but Rafe is purposely holding back his feelings. Angelique comes to visit Kristen at her place of employ and is introduced to Jacques's son, Damien. Damien is immediately smitten with the vixen Angelique, but they don't hit it off well since Angelique doesn't bother to dispel Damien's thoughts about her method of financing undergraduate school. Two budding relationships teeter on the bar of honesty and implied deceit. Jacques is secretly in love with Claudette, and that scoundrel of a husband, Maurice, is out for love from any young thing and Claudette's fortune.
SOMEBODY'S KNOCKING AT MY DOOR is more than a romance. It is a story that examines the complexities of relationships between men and women, children and parents, brothers and sisters, and friends. The storytelling of the author, Francis Ray, is superb as she has the ability to snare the reader before completing the first page. I was so enthralled with the characters that I had to find out what was going to happen next. Some aspects of the story are predictable, and that's fine too. I knew what was going to happen mostly because these are things that we have all experienced on the road to maturity, and it was interesting to see how others handled situations similar to mine. Readers will learn a lot from the realistic characters and the masterful craft of telling a story.
Reviewed by Sharon Hudson (firstname.lastname@example.org) on May 1, 2003
Somebody's Knocking at My Door
- Publication Date: May 1, 2003
- Genres: Fiction
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
- ISBN-10: 0312307349
- ISBN-13: 9780312307349