Sunday, May 8, 2011

Searching For Tina Turner

Searching for Tina TurnerAuthor: Jacqueline E. Luckett
ISBN: 978-0-446-54296-8
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: Author Exposure
Purchase link: Searching for Tina Turner

When Lina Spencer spoke her vows to her husband Randall, the last thing she expected was divorce. However, after twenty three years of marriage, two children and chasing Randall’s dreams, Lina finds herself deeply unsatisfied and completely unhappy. In the wake of her realization her husband Randall gives her an ultimatum that will change the course of their lives. Lina chooses to move on. Drawing her inspiration and strength from Tina Turner, her idol, Lina heads to France in search of closure, healing and self fulfillment. Searching for Tina Turner is one woman’s story and her road to self discovery and true happiness.

This novel has a good level of potential but fell short of being spectacular in many areas. The basis of the story is common. A woman finds herself unhappy and unfulfilled. This leads to divorce because the marriage she is part of hasn’t been healthy for years. Her entire married life is all about her children and her husband, but when it’s time to be about her, there is no one around. The premise of the story has been explored in different ways, but this story throws the reader a twist. Lena has a crush on Tina. Her obsession dates back to her first date with Randall. The end of her married life parallels that of Tina Turners and Tina has become and idol to Lena. The close similarities in the characters names was a reading road block for me. At times I would read about Tina and fail to notice the novel was not talking about Lena. Since everyone works through emotionally challenging situations differently, I have read a variety of different methods in regards to similar story lines, but a Tina Tuner obsession is definitely new to me. It makes this story original in its own way.

The characters in this novel are unlikable. Lena is not an engaging character. She is weak and whiny. I expected more from her. I wish she would have learned to stand up for herself earlier on in the book. Her husband, Randall, is despicable. While I felt he deserved her choice to his insensitive ultimatum, I didn’t necessarily gain respect her due to the way she shrinks back and refuses to accept what she has set in motion.

The writing style was awkward. The novel was slow to start and didn’t pick up until the last half of the book. Even after it picked up, it was still a slow paced novel. The first half of the novel chronicles the end of Lena and Randall’s marriage while the second half chronicles Lena’s trip to France, in search of herself and of course, Tina Turner. In this second half there are many noticeable mentions that the characters are black. This really didn’t fit in the story. I felt it was odd to mention since the color of the characters skin doesn’t matter in the story line. It seemed the author was intent to remind the reader of the fact, though I don’t see why it was necessary. It is not as if you expect to visit France and not be in the minority as an African American. I am still confused as to why Lena is so fixated on this fact.

Though Tina Turner is a different twist for this novel, Lena’s obsession was a little much. I would have much rather read about her expanding her horizons to further her dreams and ambitions. Overall, the story was quite mundane for me. I was not engrossed with this novel. It seemed to simply tell a story and leave me nothing to think about at the end. While it was easy enough to read, easy to follow and had a sound structure, it lacks enthusiasm and energy. I was not drawn to the book and found myself thinking about the other novels on my to read shelf instead of forgetting I even have a “to read” shelf.



  1. Thanks for your honest review. I admit, I was a little drawn to the title, "Searching for Tina Turner." Who hasn't heard of Tina Turner, right? But, after your review, it makes me wonder why the author called it this in the first place when there is no actual search for her. I mean, I'm sure it's a metaphor for finding yourself or something, but I would've honestly expected more from a story like this.

  2. Hey Chica Latina! I completely agree. When she does travel to France it is partially for a Tina Turner concert that will be held before she goes back to the US. She "searches" by hoping to find her and meet her in Tina's French town, but it is more a metaphor because she is searching for the Tina Turner within herself. I didnt' have any expectations going into this novel but I do stand by my review.


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