Essence bestselling author Tracy Brown's scorching new urban tale about falling in love and one girl's descent into the murky and unrelenting depths of drug addiction
Jada left home at the age of sixteen, running from her own demons and the horrors of physical abuse inflicted by her mother's boyfriend. She partied hard, and life seemed good when she was with Born, the neighborhood kingpin whose name was synonymous with money, power, and respect. But all his love couldn't save her from a crack addiction. Jada goes from crack addict and prostitute to survivor and back again before she finds the strength to live for herself and come out on top. And her stormy romance with one of the fiercest hustlers on the streets makes White Lines one of the most unforgettable urban loves stories of the year.
Brown's epic (after Criminal Minded) explores New York's ghettoes of the 1980s and '90s, following two characters caught up in the crack epidemic. Brooklynite Jada turns to the drug to numb the pain caused by an abusive stepfather and helpless mother. Her transformation from feisty teenager into crackhead is rapid and explicit, and Brown spares no wretched detail of Jada's descent. Meanwhile, on Staten Island, Born is growing from the impressionable son of a legendary "Original Gangster" into a hardcore hustler in his own right, fueled in part by the hurt over his father's weakness for the rock. When Born and a newly clean Jada cross paths as young adults, their common survivor spirit sparks a fairy tale love, and for a time, they live the blinged-out high life together. But one careless snort of coke at a party sends Jada spiraling again, and Born shuns her. It's not long before strung-out Jada hits bottom. Jada and Born reunite years later after escaping the drug world, but the overlong conclusion devolves into redundancy as the lessons learned pile up. As ugly as their actions can be, Brown's characters are sympathetically drawn, and the Goodfellas-like take on the gangster life is eye-opening.