T.D. Jakes,
Cover Girls
(Time Warner, 2003)

As I a rule, I don't read inspirational novels. It's not that I'm not religious. Rather, the ones I have read, I haven't liked. I've found their main characters stereotypically goody-goody and their preachiness irritating. But life is full of surprises, and Cover Girls is one of the pleasant ones.

Author and pastor T.D. Jake's "cover girls" for God are four women: three poor African Americans (Michelle, Tonya and Miz Ida) and a rich white woman named Mrs. Judson. On the outside, they may all seem different. But deep down inside, they all want the same things -- to reconcile with their pasts/presents and live happy lives. On their own, each one of these woman has an extremely compelling story to tell. However, the way Jakes takes their lives, intertwines them and weaves time into a fabric makes this tender and tragic novel such an outstanding read. While Cover Girls can get a bit preachy now and again, it's blessed with characters that are so believably real, you think you can reach out and touch them!

Cover Girls deals with tough topics -- drugs, drinking, hatred, love, partner abuse, abortion, prostitution and more. It's clear to see by the way he deals with these topics that Jakes is a truly gifted man and master storyteller. Narrator Pamala Tyson (who has appeared in such films as Last Dance, Seven and Jungle Fever and performed on television and stage) breathes life into Jakes' creations with an emotional performance in the audiotape adaptation of the novel.

Religious or not, there's no way you could escape being touched by the small miracles and worthwhile sentiments portrayed in this exceptionally inspiring work of fiction.

- Rambles
written by Lynne Remick
published 13 December 2003

Buy it from Amazon.com.