For a first time novelist, the author, Vicki Hendricks is gutsy and her writing is, in my estimation, courageous and amazing.
There are no innuendos in this book. Written in the first person, Sherry Parlay is a professional and talented exotic dancer recently retired from the profession. So the language Sherry uses is the language which she knows. So fair warning to the faint of heart or if you’re shy and reserved and easily offended, pass this book up. Otherwise, jump in because it’s a great read from beginning to end.
While men who are authors are free and easy (and imaginative maybe) about describing what sex is like for a woman, women writers, it seems to me, tend to romanticize sex with soft, warm and fuzzy words. None here...so pick up another book if you can't handle the sexual encounter descriptions which are, should I say, quite descriptive.
Sherry will probably never get an invite to any ladies’ tea party because she’s no lady. She’s from the other side of the tracks but now wants to change her life, leave the entertainment industry to find a life in the sunshine, in the daylight, a nice little nine to fiver in Miami. She's not too picky either because she’s not trained for anything, and applies to a laundry/dry cleaning ‘mom and son’ business because it had a 'help wanted' sign in the window.
Getting used to the daytime hours though is a constant challenge since she loves sex, drugs and probably rock ‘n roll, and did I say sex? Oh, forgot, exhibitionism; say hey, she was a dancer with horny men watching her eight hours a night. Of course she’s an exhibitionist.
Meeting the son half of the business, Payne,she comes on to him immediately. It doesn't matter to either that he's 28 and although she looks 30, she's more worldly and 36. Sherry’s looking for and believes she’s found a solid guy, with good looks and a business owner. And if he doesn’t smack her around once in a while, that’s even better. But moms can get in the way though and this is one protective mother.
After getting past the initial shock of the gritty in your face language, I settled in for a great story, told just like Sherry would if you or I were talking to her. She wants so badly to be loved, to be cared for and she’ll do whatever it takes to get to that place of the ‘warm and fuzzies.’ Perhaps, though, good looking Payne isn’t all that he seems, which is a solid part of the story.
I really enjoyed Vicki Hendricks' writing. She has no pretense whatsoever in her voice and it shows by her use of the language. She writes just like Sherry would talk.
I give this writer a lot of credit for taking all the ‘fluffy’ stuff away from her writing if it was ever there to begin with. It’s crude, it’s basic, it’s real, it’s life, folks. Take it or leave it, it’s someone’s life out there. Fortunately, for me, not mine but I really enjoyed reading this unusual first novel. I believe it’s considered noir which is my favorite book genre anyway.
At the very beginning of the book Sherry who comes from Cleveland (most everyone in Miami is from somewhere else) says “If Cleveland was the armpit of the world then Miami must be the eyes, clear, blue sparkling eyes with plenty of promises. It was all there for me.” This is just an indication of the hope felt by Sherry and so begins the reader’s hope for Sherry Parlay. And who writes like that anyway? No one I can think of. Ms. Hendricks is a one of a kind in my book.