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Publisher's Summary

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies explores the raw and tender places where Black women and girls dare to follow their desires and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good. The nine stories in this collection feature four generations of characters grappling with who they want to be in the world, caught as they are between the church's double standards and their own needs and passions. 

There is 14-year-old Jael, who has a crush on the preacher's wife. At 42, Lyra realizes that her discomfort with her own body stands between her and a new love. As Y2K looms, Caroletta's "same time next year" arrangement with her childhood best friend is tenuous. A serial mistress lays down the ground rules for her married lovers. In the dark shadows of a hospice parking lot, grieving strangers find comfort in each other. 

With their secret longings, new love, and forbidden affairs, these church ladies are as seductive as they want to be, as vulnerable as they need to be, as unfaithful and unrepentant as they care to be, and as free as they deserve to be.

©2020 Deesha Philyaw (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

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An Honest, Modern-Day Telling

This story pulls no punches in discussing the struggles, desires, contradictions, and shortcomings that church folk or women with some linkage to the Christian church have. If I could ask for anything more it would be for at least one story that shows a relationship with God/spirituality in a positive light and in congruence with what a woman or girl is trying to accomplish in their life. not in a cheesy, altruistic way but in a realistic fashion that speaks to the women who choose to still make God and the church a part of their lives despite everything else.

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Eh...

Let me start by saying I LOVED “How to Make Love to a Physicist.” Otherwise,
I wasn’t wowed or anything, in the slightest. Its hard to put my finger on what my issue is because wasn’t terrible; just cliche with zero edge. The title is not fitting, I mean I get it, but it’s a stretch. There were moments that stimulated a couple of my senses but...IDK...I’m going to revisit it because a group I joined will be discussing it. Hopefully, I’ll be updating my review.

1 person found this helpful

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LOVED IT!

The stories were engaging and may make you blush. I loved them all., my favourite being Peach Cobbler 😌

The stories varied on a number of true to life topics and I highly recommend this book.

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Entertaining and thought provoking

I'm glad this was selected for my book club's book. I can't wait to hear the different perspectives on the content. Great read!

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Loved it

I was very entertained. Dear Sister, reminded me of my Grandmother dreaming about fishes. My Grandmother always came to our house asking which one of us is pregnant and I'd say to her, you know which house you need to be at. But because my cousin was much younger than us she never wanted to believe it. She dreamed of fishes a lot. I didn't care for Tasheda. Married men are a big no, no.
Peach Cobbler, why couldn't her daughter have any of the cobbler? And why was her mother so cold to her. And why do side chicks tend to hate the wife?
Jael, is my favorite. She had me laughing out loud talking trash about the pedophile. "His arms were soft and pale, no muscles in sight, soft ass n!**@." So, did she know that her grandma was reading her diary?
This was a really good way to start the New Year.

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Fantastic quick listen. Can't wait for HBOMax

Highly recommend and looking forward to Tessa Thompson's show on HBOMax in the near future.

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Great Listen!

I so loved this book! The first story was so captivating and those that followed were real and relatable and so intriguing! I loved her writing style and I could picture each character!
The readers voice was overly and wall paced!
It was a quick listen I would recommend!!

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More than Enjoyable!

First book of the new year for me, and was more than enjoyable. I highly recommend!

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  • Shannon
  • 01-08-21

Well written, touching and a joy to listen to!

I really can’t find a fault with this book. This collection of short stories doesn’t have too much to do with church or church ladies, but the secret lives of black women touched by religion in their upbringing. It’s beautifully relatable and I was hooked to every minute.