Reviewed by Chika Anene
An authentic page-turner that will leave you tangled in its web of family secrets and drama
Ajha Attwood has been raising e her brother Hector’s daughter after her mother chose a path of modeling and drugs. At night Ajha finds great satisfaction in her job as an anonymous advice blogger, a stark contrast to her day-time life. But when she comes across some raunchy pages from her niece’s diary and discovers her brother’s latest love interest, her world is turned upside-down.
Ajha’s best friend Tarah, who has enjoyed quite a few successes in her life—despite a shameful secret that’s haunting her—envies her best friend for her perfect life. So, with Ajha’s guard up, Tarah must set her sights on perfection in a different way—by chasing after the heart of Ajha’s older brother Hector.
Hector has been trying to find a suitable mate since leaving his ex-fiancée thirteen years ago, but no one makes him feel quite the same way that Tarah does. This is all fine and good that he falls in love, but quicker than we know it, his infatuation develops into an unhealthy obsession. Drama is waiting just around the corner with Ajha’s Web.
While readers will definitely come here for the drama, they won’t leave with only that. I enjoyed many different aspects of this story, but perhaps the thing I clung to the most was each individual character’s unique speech. Their dialogue and distinguishing voices make them feel so real and bring a whole lot of spice to the story.
We get loads of playful banter, especially in the scenes that include Hector and Ajha’s husband Marcus. Since the characters in this drama feel whole and unique, I’m able to dive even deeper into this captivating family drama and in-law strife. Ajha’s family dynamics keep things fresh for us, offering an honest glimpse into their intermingling lives and also their Dominican culture.
The theme of keeping up appearances is also a shining aspect to this well-executed novel. Sure, Ajha’s life may be considered perfect from the outside, but she still lives in a world where she must hide her true feelings, where she needs to keep it together to raise her niece and deal with Hector’s recent changes.
If you’re looking for an honest family drama book with a great main character, Ajha’s Web is going to leave you feeling satisfied. Author Essence Bonitaz thrives in creating relatable and believable characters. The drama may take center stage, but strong banter and steamy scenes keep us turning pages and looking forward to what is to come.
A page-turner with a bit of steam, Ajha’s Web ended up being an amazing first read of the new year for me. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for what Bonitaz comes up with next.
Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Black & African American Fiction
Print Length: 212 pages
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