Cover image for It's a thin line
It's a thin line
Publication Information:
New York : Dafina Books, c2001.
Physical Description:
275 p.


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Sydney, Gina and Rick are close siblings, but their lives are as different as can be. When their mother has a debilitating stroke, all three suddenly find the tenuous threads of their individual lives at a breaking point.

Author Notes

Kimberla Lawson Roby has published about 15 novels. Her debut title, Behind Closed Doors, was originally self-published through her company, Lenox Press. Her other works include The Best of Everything, One in a Million, Sin No More, Love and Lies, Changing Faces, The Best-Kept Secret, A Taste of Reality, It's a Thin Line, and A Deep, Dark Secret. She received the Blackboard Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2001 for Casting the First Stone and the 2004 Patron Choice Award from the Central Mississippi Regional Library System for Too Much of a Good Thing. She is also the 2006 and 2007 recipient of the Author of the Year, Female award presented by the African-American Literary Award Show in New York. In 2013 she made The New York Times Best Seller List with her title A House Divided. The Prodigal Son made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2014. She also made the list in 2015 with her title, The Ultimate Betrayal.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

The story of the private heartaches of three Chicago siblings before and after their mother's debilitating stroke drives this amiable family-and-faith-centered novel by Roby (Casting the First Stone). At 36, Sydney Taylor attempts to be dutiful daughter, eldest sister, loving wife, apprentice freelance journalist and pragmatic mother to a teenager. This general overcommitment has a dire effect on her sex life, causing caring husband Wesley's patience to wear thin. Middle sister Gina balances her top-level job, her twin girls and her jealous husband's physical and mental abuse, which finally proves too much for her to handle. The sisters' young brother, Rick, enjoys his job and his live-in fianc?e, but her desire to set a wedding date and his fear of commitment are issues they must address. When the siblings' mother, Delores, suffers a stroke during her retirement party, all of their personal problems are put on hold. Delores undergoes surgery for a brain tumor and moves in with Sydney while she recovers. To Sydney, who's also dealing with a hefty secret relating to her sexual problems, it seems that she is caring for her mother alone, while her sister and brother return to their cloistered lives. But Sydney doesn't realize that Gina has resolved to take justice into her own hands and punish her brutal husband, and Rick is struggling to make a dramatic, life-altering decision about his relationship. More texture in the prose would take Roby's writing up a notch or two, but as it stands, this is an easy, satisfying beach read. Agent, Elaine Koster. (May) Forecast: Roby, a Blackboard bestselling author, won't expand her audience much with her latest, but fans will respond to her tried-and-true formula. 10-city author tour. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

Roby deals with many issues of family life, including birth order, sibling rivalry, domestic abuse, incest, and the emotional toil of caring for a sick parent. Three siblings, Sydney, Gina, and Rick, have always been a close-knit family. Sydney, the eldest, is the responsible, dutiful daughter, mother, and wife. Gina, the overburdened and misunderstood middle child, is the proud one. Rick, the youngest, is forever searching and very needy. They each find themselves challenged by insecurities and unspoken pain when their mother, Delores, becomes seriously ill. The burden of providing care for her surfaces buried emotions and forces resolution of real dangers. The sibling rivalries even during this stressful time cause them to question their relationships with one another and their mother's choices about her health care. Yet, somehow, even in the face of emotional situations and stark revelations, the sisters come together to support and provide the love and closeness that their mother raised them to share. Included here are book discussion questions and hotline numbers for domestic abuse, incest victims, and family caregivers. --Lillian Lewis