The Other Side is dramatic fiction by Trice Hickman. The story features three women from three different decades who share a birthday. Bernadette Gibson and Tess Sinclair are cousins. Arizona Mays works at the same hospital as Bernadette, so the women share connections beyond the shared birthday. The story is told through the alternating viewpoints of the three women and also over different timeframes. This could have been confusing but the author handles it well with appropriate chapter headers.
Bernadette Gibson is turning fifty and she’s not happy, even though she’s overcome her humble beginnings and survived a disastrous personal relationship. Her outlook changes when she meets Cooper, “Coop”, Dennis. Bernadette doesn’t approve of Coop’s past, but he appears to be a changed man, and he’s certainly changed Bernadette, for the better. Can she overlook the secret she’s just discovered?
Testimony “Tess” Sinclair is Bernadette’s cousin, and a popular best-selling author. Tess is turning forty and has reached a roadblock in her personal life and in her writing. Her ex is recently married and giving to someone else the life he promised her. Anger has a stranglehold on her until she visits Bernadette and meets the love of her life. Can she let go of her anger and fully commit to Maceo?
Arizona Mays is turning thirty and is ready to break the vow of celibacy she has with her fiancé, Chris. They’ve been waiting for two years, two months and two days, but feel that it’s time to be fully intimate with each other. Arizona surrenders herself to her man and expects only joy, but finds out that he has been keeping an important secret from her. Can she still marry him, knowing what she knows?
Bernadette and Tess have always been close and turned to each other during times of trouble. Arizona and Bernadette bond and she fits into the little group perfectly. The women meet regularly to share their problems and offer advice, comfort and support. Their goal is to get each other “to the other side”.
The Other Side is a great read. The characters are fully-fleshed and relatable. The dialogue is fresh and vibrant. The plot has unexpected twists. I hope there are follow-up novels, because there are some loose ends not addressed in the ending. I rate this novel 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to readers of dramatic and multicultural fiction.
My thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.
Publication Date: September 24, 2019