Lynn Harris Essay, Research Paper
In the hilarious “just keepin’ it real” style novel, If This World Were Mine, by E. Lynn Harris, a group of friends decide to start a journal club, like they did back in their college English class. This story is told by each and all takes place in the 90’s around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Sometimes it is easier to put your thoughts on paper rather than express them out loud. A group of college friends decides to restart their journal club called, If This World Were Mine. The group includes Yolanda, single, independent, and not looking for a man. She was once married, but her husband wanted to travel, while she was ready to be stable. Then there’s Dr. Leland Thompson, gay and single. Riley Woodson, the epidimy of beauty. She’s married to her college sweetheart Selwyn, who is also a member of the journal club, and they have a set of twins’, Ryan and Reginald. Dwight Leon Scott is also a member he is divorced and mad at the world. He was married to Kelli, a former member of the group. She left because Dwight wouldn’t. The group has monthly meetings where they eat, drink, and read and discuss their journals. Each member of the group always brings something to read to the meeting, but they never read what is really going on in their lives. They all feel like they have to impress the other members, which defeats the whole purpose of the journal club.
The climax of the story begins when Leland’s client, Taylor Wilson called and asked to have an emergency meeting. After Leland’s secretary scheduled the meeting and Taylor made it to the office, he began to tell Leland what was going on. At the same time Yolanda was in New York handling some business and also visiting John, her new guy friend. One day she went to John’s apartment on surprise and got a bigger surprise than she expected. While back in Chicago, Taylor was still talking with Leland about the man he saw that he had met back in the days when he was a family court judge. They had an affair and caused him to divorce his wife and leave his kids and career. Taylor told Leland about the man’s gray eyes which made Leland think about Yolanda’s new guy friend. After Taylor continued for a while Leland interrupted and asked the man’s name, Taylor replied, “Basil Henderson.” Taylor then continued to tell his story, while Leland thought of Yolanda and how he could tell her the news.
When Yolanda walked into John’s apartment with a key he gave her she saw John and her newest client Monty having oral sex. She left the apartment immediately called Leland and told him she was on her way back to Chicago and that they needed to talk. When she got back her and Leland had a long discussion about John. After Yolanda finished talking Leland told her that his client, Taylor, had an affair with John and that he had been trying to tell her, but he just didn’t know how to. Yolanda was mad at Leland for not telling her sooner. She left and decided not to talk to him. After a couple of days of not talking to Leland or John, Yolanda received a call from John, he tried to explain, but Yolanda was not trying to hear it, while John was talking the other line rang, it was Uncle Doc, Leland’s uncle, telling her that Leland had been shot and that she needed to get to the hospital emergency room. She clicked over and told John bye and rushed to the hospital. When she got there Uncle Doc told her to call the rest of Leland’s friends and try to find someone to donate blood. When Dwight, Riley, and Selwyn arrived at the hospital, Yolanda told them that Leland needed some blood, Dwight and Selwyn decided they would donate it. After the surgery was over and Leland was in recovery, everyone began to leave, except Dwight and Yolanda. Yolanda had forgotten about how mad she was at Leland for not telling her about John. Leland left the hospital after about five days. Christmas day came, John called and tried to explain again to Yolanda, but once again she was not trying to hear it. He decided to call his father since Yolanda wouldn’t listen to him. He told him about his sexuality and how it all came about. He told his Dad about how his Uncle Mac’ molested him at the age of nine, and that every since that day he has looked at men in a different way. His dad tried to comfort him, but he couldn’t think of anything to tell him.
After realizing what would help him to get over the hurt of being molested, John quit working at his job, and became a psychiatrist for sexually abused adolescents. Yolanda continued her life, single and working as a media consultant. Riley and Selwyn worked on their relationship. Riley still tried to pursue her career as a singer and poet. Dwight found him a job as a sports announcer.
This novel very funny and overall kept my attention. I like the dialogue in the novel, it made the characters seem more realistic. A couple of parts in the book I skipped because they were boring and had no relevance to the main conflict of the story. The message of this novel is that life is an everyday struggle and although you can live everyday saying “if,” you must still live your life for “what is.”