Genre: Dramatic, Literary
Publisher: Emily Bestler Books – Atria Books
Publication Date: 1/29/2013
Reviewed by Chrystal Dorsey
Fans of acclaimed writer Sister Souljah have waited with much anticipation for thirteen years for a sequel to The Coldest Winter Ever—the realistic coming-of-age tale of Winter Santiaga. Winter is a spoiled, pampered, ruthless hood rat, attracted to power and intolerant of those without it. She deceives and steals from those who help her and her obsession with money, possessions, and appearances, along with her refusal to change has led her down a path of no return. Now, thirteen years later, Souljah returns to the Santiaga family to write an unforgettable coming-of-age story in the words of Porsche Santiaga, Winter’s younger sister.
A Deeper Love Inside opens with ten-year old Porsche Santiaga serving time in a juvenile prison for attempted murder. The narrative proceeds to take readers on a journey that will be very difficult to forget. It is a story of a shrewd, quick-witted young girl, wise and clever beyond her years, adjusting to having had things handled for her with the world at her fingertips to one of survival and hardship.
While in lock up Porsche is force to physically defend herself from the attacks of jealous inmates that envy her beauty, her hair, and her ability to dance. Although she is running her own successful hustle, she is recruited by Riot, the leader of the Diamond Needle gang. With Riot’s help she learns to act smarter and fight with her brain instead of her fists. And during all of this, Porsche has not seen or heard from any of her family members and wants to reunite with them at any cost.
Under the direction of Riot, Porsche manages to escape from the juvenile prison and hide out on an Indian reservation run by NanaAnna. After waiting a predetermined amount of months and earning quite a bit of money, they head off to Long Island, only to find that the beautiful world Porsche once knew and loved is no more. Their mansion is occupied by another family, her father is in prison serving a life sentence, her older sister Winter is also incarcerated, her twin baby sisters—Lexus and Mercedes—have been adopted, and the mother she loves and fought so hard to get back to is now a crack addict living beneath a store.
Apart from Riot, Porsche encounters some very interesting and well-developed characters along the way, each with a little bit to offer her in life lessons, whether they are good or bad. For instance Riot, the leader of the Diamond Needle gang, teaches her how to have patience and plan. Lil’Man, aka Angel, who killed a stranger that violently raped and impregnated his mother taught her about getting even on a different level. Warden Strickland taught her not to trust people in authority. NanaAnna taught her how to grow, prepare, and cook healthy foods. Mr. S taught her how to form alliances while helping her empire grow. And her mother taught her the hardest lesson of all, which readers will find between the pages of A Deeper Love Inside.
Due to the multitude of devastation inflicted while in foster care and juvenile-prison, Porsche develops a disorder and becomes unusually attached to her newly acquired friends, Siri and Ivory, and holds tightly to them throughout the story. And it’s through Siri that she meets Elisha Immanuel, a brilliant young soon-to-be movie director with whom she will be able to find and feel A Deeper Love Inside.
Readers may be wondering if this sequel lives up to its predecessor, which is does despite being a very different tale. Whereas Winter grows into a cold, self-absorbed, thoughtless, and uncaring individual, Porsche grows from a beautiful, angry, vulnerable girl who fought to survive into a gorgeous, loving, and enchanting young lady living at peace.
Sister Souljah is a successful political activist and educator of underclass youth. Her national bestseller The Coldest Winter Ever, considered the definitive novel of the hip-hop generation, marked her fiction debut; she is also the author of a memoir entitled No Disrespect. She lives in Jersey City with her husband and son.
I would recommend this book to readers wanting a riveting, gritty, yet touching story. However, due to some language this book may not be appropriate for readers under the age of sixteen.
Publisher Provided – Thank You