reality check

Reality Check: Stepmother Chronicles

by Anjalon Edwards
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Reviewed by: Delonya Conyers
October 2009


In Reality Check: The Stepmother Chronicles author Anjalon Edwards addresses the difficult task of rearing stepchildren.  A task that can be made much more complicated when you and your spouse are not in conjunction with one another.  This is the case with Carmen and Tyrell Fuller.  The Fullers appear to be a happily married couple that is until Tyrell’s eldest son Junior, arrives every other weekend for his scheduled visits.

Convinced that Carmen doesn’t love his son the same way as she does the two children they share together Tyrell becomes standoffish towards Carmen and overindulgent towards Junior.  Junior who’s smart enough to play on the tension between the couple manipulates his father even more into giving in to his every whim.  Tyrell feels the need to overcompensate for Carmen’s disposition during Junior’s visits, while Carmen actually sulks the weekend away noticing the way Tyrell constantly ignores her and their other two children any time Junior is around.

The problems for the Fullers progress to more than just the weekends of Junior’s visits but escalate to include the days before his arrival and several days after his departure.  The rift between Carmen and Tyrell becomes so great that they separate especially once Carmen suspects Tyrell of infidelity.  Marriage is a union full of complexity however could the Fuller’s union be destroyed by a precocious nine year old?  With Reality Check author Anjalon Edwards shows just how damaging being unable to effectively co-parent blended households can be to a marriage.

What did you like best about this book?
I enjoyed how it highlighted the strain placed on a marriage when couples can’t work as a union while rearing children.

What did you dislike about this book?
Although fiction, Reality Check read more like a self-help book while attempting to chronicle the many different incidents where both Tyrell and Carmen made silly decisions.

How could the author improve the book?
Mrs. Edwards should work more on blending the theme of her novel into the story in a manner in which it won’t overtake the story.


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