A successful television reporter discovers that family is more important than fame and fortune in this hilarious and heartwarming family drama from bestselling author ReShonda Tate Billingsley.
Raedella Rollins left the dusty town of Sweet Poke, Arkansas, on a Texas-bound bus with four mismatched suitcases, a newsroom job offer, and a promise to herself: never look back. Now, less than a decade later, she’s a top-rated talk show host, a celebrity news anchor, and fiancée to Houston’s star councilman. The future looks bright for Rae, and Sweet Poke is nothing more than a distant memory.
But now that she’s reached the top, her ragtag family comes knocking. Mama Tee, the grandmother who raised her, calls with unwelcome family updates; and Shondella, her jealous older sister, guilts her into sending money. To Rae, nothing could be worse than an unexpected reunion with her over-the-top relatives. But when her picture-perfect life turns out to be an illusion, Rae's family calls her back to Sweet Poke and to the life she left behind. Can Rae let go of the pain of her childhood and open her heart to the healing that only faith and family can provide?
Raedella Rollins's evolution from a small-town girl in Sweet Poke, Ark., to a news anchor at an NBC-affiliate in Houston, Tex., who marries a rising local politics star is a remarkable story, but Billingsley fails to humanize her shallowly icy narrator and the chorus of caricatures surrounding her. When her family (a motley assortment of moochers, alcoholics, criminals and temptresses) hears of her engagement, they trek out to Houston for the wedding. Initially upset that the past she left behind is catching up with her, Rae learns the value of family after her husband of two days is exposed as a lecherous cheat. But Rae's scalding self-centeredness keeps the reader at shouting distance, so her redemption, telegraphed from the beginning, arrives with a whimper.