A Review of Ebony the Beloved by Hannah Spivey

February 13, 2012 

This is a story of the worst kind of childhood. Ebony while growing up in a dysfunctional household suffers physical and verbal abuse by her parents. Reduced to a pathetic creature she suffers similar abuse in school. A school official discovers her plight and rescues Ebony taking her into a caring home. One would think Ebony would be humbled and grateful finally being showered with love and attentive care. But poor Ebony can’t seem to handle her new life. Having been deprived of a healthy family relationship with low self esteem her carnal desires leads her back into trouble. It seems being deprived of the normal joys of growing up the teenager develops a fast feisty and frisky attitude. She’s wears stylish clothes, gets a perm, and discovers lipstick and jewelry. Suddenly inexperienced in life she thinks she grown.

Ebony rejects the warming advice of her care taker and becomes involved with an older man. A wealthy pop star, Desmond is handsome and charming with a South Beach mansion. He sweeps the young girl off her feet and into his inescapable clutches. Desmond proves not to be the man she thought. Oblivious to reasons why an older man would be interested in an under age girl she believes it’s only natural because of her desirable beauty. After a series of clandestine meetings Ebony finds herself snagged in another dysfunctional relationship. Held against her will she’s reduced to a sex slave.

The story has an interesting twist at first you feel sympathy for poor Ebony, but that sympathy is quickly lost as the story advances. Initially Ebony is a victim of her circumstances of which she had no control, but when her physical appearance improves that downtrodden beaten lack of self esteem takes an about face. When Ebony is left to her own devices she becomes a victim of her own making. But there is growth, the beaten down trodden girl finally finds the wherewithal to fight back. Suddenly she reaches the tipping point transformed with a new found strength no longer willing to take the abuse she had long suffered from her parents and others.

Ebony the Beloved is an interesting read which at times forces the reader to suspend belief although stories of sex slaves and abuse are by there very nature despicable and unbelievable. At times preachy it took me awhile to grow into the story I believe because the author failed to adhere to the cardinal rule of fiction i.e. show don’t tell, nevertheless, overall the novel comes to a satisfying conclusion. 4 stars

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