Solomon Wilberforce, a magnetic and brilliant man who writes bestselling children's books under the name Beento Blackbird and who has dedicated himself to educating the far-flung children of African descent about their glorious heritage. Also the story about three women who love him. He spends 1 season a year with each of these women.
The Seasons of Beento Blackbird by Akosua Busia is about a man who gets a double helping of love. He has two wives, each of which he loves in a different way. His first wife lives in the Caribbean, the second one lives in Ghana. Solomon divides his time spending winters on a beautiful island with Miriam, his first and older wife, summers with the younger Ashia in Ghana, and the remaining time in New York where he works as a children's book writer under the pseudonym Beento Blackbird. Both women are in agreement with the arrangement, though maybe not so wholeheartedly. It's complicated.
This book sparked one of the livelier discussions at my book club. The Seasons of Beento Blackbird got stronger mixed reviews than other books we have read. I really, really liked it. You could say I loved it. For me it was right up there with Water for Elephants and The Help. I loved the exotic locales, the unique story, and I really liked that charming bigamist Solomon (though for the record, I'm not a fan of bigamy or cheating). I thought Solomon truly loved both Miriam and Ashia. Others in the book club weren't as easily captivated by Solomon. They didn't care for his philandering ways and the fact that his selfishness put everyone in a difficult position. The book begs the question, can people truly give their hearts two different people at the same time? Were we mean to be monogamous or is it that we just haven't learned to "share"?
Moral questions aside, this book is written with an enchanting writing style that is definitely worthwhile.
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For the most part I enjoyed the read, but I got so upset with "King" Solomon's treatment of the women he loved that I didn't like him very much. His education re black history, slavery, the bible, etc. was very interesting, but his arrogance and non-chalance offset that for me.