Here and Now, by Kimberla Lawson Roby

Here and Now

by Kimberla Lawson Roby

Purchase at: 

  • Paperback - 288 pages (February 1999) 
  • Kensington Pub Corp
  • ISBN: 1575663368

Description from

Fate deals sisters Marcella and Raquel completely different lives in Kimberla Lawson Roby's Here and Now. Determined to give her children a better life, Marcella struggles to find financial stability without the aid of her unreliable ex-husband, Tyrone. When she stretches herself too thin between her job and full-time college classes, Marcella refuses to question her decision despite the negative effects it's having on her children. The promise of her new romance with a medical student named Darryl, and the support of her family encourage her to continue. But when Tyrone threatens to withhold his meager support, Marcella feels her careful balance starting to topple--sending her into a cycle of anger and aggression with Tyrone that threatens her own health as well as her relationship with Darryl.

Sister Raquel has the unconditional love and support of her husband, Kevin, yet she aches to have a child of her own. After years of fruitless efforts, Kevin is willing to consider fertility treatment or adoption, but Raquel refuses to give up on natural methods, and swears they need just one more chance. Her blind lack of realism starts to wear on Kevin, and their relationship begins to fray. When Raquel finally agrees to treatment, their marriage is subsumed by the effort, and they lose sight of each other. A pregnancy brings renewed hope, but have they already lost each other? Here and Now offers a poignant story of two women struggling to define their future and learning to value the present. Mundane details and an unexpected dream sequence may frustrate readers, but the appeal of Roby's strong characters and realistic issues outweigh any faults the book may have, making this an enjoyable and thought-provoking read. --Nancy R.E. O'Brien


In the tradition of "Waiting to Exhale" comes the poignant story of two strong, intelligent women facing tragedy, surviving loss and terrible sorrow, and ultimately learning that only with each other's help can they heal the hurt and celebrate the joy in their lives.

The author

Kimberla Lawson Roby ( , January 2, 1999 
I am so grateful to all of you!!! First, I'd like to thank all of you for your continued dedication and support of my first novel, Behind Closed Doors. My latest work, Here and Now, centers around two sisters who believe their lives would be much more satisfying if they could switch places with each other, and I truly hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I look forward to receiving your e-mail messages, and I wish all of you the best possible in the future.

Many blessings always,

Kimberla Lawson Roby

Description from

From the Publisher Brilliant and vibrant, Marcella Jones had the whole world in her hands, until she gave her heart to the wrong man. Tyrone was handsome and charismatic, but he left her destitute, raising two small children alone - and yearning for the kind of life her dead-end job will never provide. Marcella's elder sister Racquel, lives in a fine home, has a fulfilling career and the love of Kevin, her handsome, successful, supportive husband. Yet her desperate longing for a child is driving her into a deep depression and away from Kevin. In the tradition of Waiting to Exhale and Big Girls Don't Cry, Here and Now is the poignant story of two strong, intelligent women facing tragedy, surviving loss and terrible sorrow, and ultimately learning that only with each other's help can they heal the hurt and celebrate the joy in their lives.

From the Critics

From Nava Hall
Roby's narrative is fast paced. . . the story never develops to a central crisis or point of tension, [it] gives the book the feel of someone sitting at a kitchen table relating a story to a friend. -- ForeWord Magazine

From Library
Journal Roby hit the Blackboard best sellers list with her debut (originally self-published) Behind Closed Doors (Black Classic, 1997), about suburban African American women. She's likely to do it again, with this story of sisters Marcella and Raquel, raised south of Chicago, whose lives diverge because of the choices they make. Raquel, the older, seems to have it all--good job, fine husband, nice home -- but what she desperately longs for is children, while Marcella -- unmarried, living in the projects -- finds her life limited by the two children she had with her high school football star lover. Raquel seeks infertility treatment, revealing her hidden past, while Marcella seeks higher education, and just when things look up, tragedy strikes repeatedly. Roby's dialog rings true, and her strength as a storyteller outweighs her weakness as a writer who tends to record every detail of her characters' movements. Readers of Terry McMillan and Connie Briscoe will likely embrace this book as they did Roby's first; buy accordingly. --Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., Arlington, VA

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