Thursday, February 21, 2019
Book Review: 'Agony of Deceit' by Tonya Mitchell
‘The very blood that runs through my veins is tainted.’
Author Tonya Mitchell hails from a background rich in source material for her novels. After earning her RN, MSN, and MBA (concentration in Healthcare Management), she is now working on completing a DNP (Doctorate of Nursing Practice), with a concentration as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. In addition to her medical experience Tonya enjoys computer programming and writing software applications. Her initial book – NOTHING REMAINS THE SAME – consisted of stories about senior citizens, while AGONY OF DECEIT explores the vagaries of love and passion and intrigue.
Not only is Tonya a talented writer, she also cares about the human condition and before her Prologue she shares a poignant thought: ‘This work represents scenarios that have occurred across all nations, genders and races. This work is not a black or white issue, nor any race in particular, or in between, as these scenes have played out over the course of human history and transcends all nationalities. The human condition is deteriorating daily, hence, people have a wanton disrespect for he miracle and fragility of life. Yes, this story is centered around a black family, however, it serves as a depiction of human nature which is representative of all nationalities. Now, with that being said, I hope you enjoy my creation and can decipher the lessons that lie between the lines.’
Apropos of Tonya’s professional experience in psychiatry she opens her novel with a moment in the Paxton Psychiatric Hospital in California – the first element of suspense that flows readily through this story. She leads us via a fine family examination into the birth of the each character, laying the groundwork for her intense examination of the influence of family histories and behaviors on the course of finding love.
The plot – ‘Tara is a young, professional woman who is in love with the perfect man; her soulmate, in every sense of the word. She and James had been inseparable since she was sixteen years old. Then, in a moment of sheer vulnerability, she had an affair with a co-worker that was so devastating, that she walked out of his life. She soon fell into the arms of another man, Dante, who was rich, successful, and captivating. She loved hard, while he lived recklessly. Tara would soon find out that Dante is not who she perceived him to be, as dark secrets kept by her family for generations, come to light. Tara has to bury her best friend, with whom she's shared more than she'd ever imagined, and attempt to redeem herself when she realizes that Dante is the common denominator for her current despair. Will she be able to recover from the truth? Or will she, too succumb to the Agony of Deceit?’
The story is generously sprinkled with erotica and variations on the multiple personality theme – and it all works very well. Heavy handed at times, this author understands how to create a complex and involving story.
Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.