Guest Author - Sonya L. Wilson
In Angel M. Hunter’s “Sister Girls 2”, we find four very different women, struggling for the same thing, to feel worthy. Elsie, Faith, Harmony, and Bella are four women who are struggling to find themselves, confront their pasts and finally feel they are worth something in the world. Each woman keeps a journal where the write down their hopes thoughts and fears.
First we have Bella a young, beautiful pastor of a small community church. Many people look up to Bella and her pastorate has a loyal congregation of young people. However, as she leads and guides her congregation, she is hiding a lot of shame. She feels shame about her past and shame about her carnal feelings that seem to be growing daily.
Bella had grown up in foster homes and had never felt real love from anyone. Tired of being mistreated by her foster families, the young Bella decided to run away and take care of herself. She found her way out of her living situation by stealing and prostitution. For Bella, sex made her feel special. It is only when an unforeseen tragedy rocks her life on the streets; she leaves the life and turns herself around.
Years later, Bella is working hard as a preacher but questions whether she deserves the life she is now living. She finds it hard to accept that her life is now calm and peaceful. She also struggles with the loneliness of being a solitary preacher with no friends and no companionship. She finds herself praying constantly about her increasingly strong desires for companionship and the physical comforts of a man. Her control of her physical needs is tested when she is confronted with the unexpected attentions of a member of her congregation and when someone from her past walks back into her life. Bella begins to wonder about her real calling in life. Was she really supposed to live out her life in this way or was their another path she should have taken? Did she become a pastor to serve God or to make herself feel worthy because of her past?
Elsie is a former lawyer that found she was feeling deeply unhappy with her life. After a lot of soul searching, Elsie quits her job and starts a non-profit organization called the Essence of Self Center. Elsie starts the center to help young women in need. Ironically, Elsie herself is in need. Still filled with regret after breaking up with her girlfriend Summer, Elsie becomes focused on having a baby. Feeling empty and regretful that she missed her chance to have a family with Summer and her young daughter Winter, Elsie begins thinking about how she could become a mother alone. After an accidental encounter with a female, and running into an ex-boyfriend, Elsie thinks she just may have been given the opportunity she had been looking for. However, when complications emerge with the female and Summer comes back into the picture, Elsie is not sure what she should do.
Harmony is the proverbial “baby mama” with no education and three children by three different men. However, Harmony is determined not to be a statistic. Harmony is tired of dead end jobs, making bad choices, and just exisiting. She makes up her mind to change her life for the better. With her loving man, Shareef by her side, Harmony begins to better herself. Shareef struggles with some of the changes in her, but he continues to support her and the three children the way he has always done.
Harmony gets a job at Elise’s Essence of Self Center and goes back to school. Things go well for Harmony until the father of one of her children begins to call from prison announcing he will be getting out soon and wants to see the son he has never met. Harmony is not prepared for this new drama in her life. Harmony’s begins to feel that her relationship and her new life are now in serious jeopardy.
Faith is the counselor for Elise’s Essence of Self Center. No one realizes however, that Faith has demons of her own that she is dealing with. A former cocaine addict, Faith is trapped in a loveless marriage. Abandoned by her mother and living with a verbally abusive, alcoholic father, Faith grew up believing that she was worthless. Tired of being told by her father that she was never going to amount to anything, Faith set out on her own. Years down the line, Faith becomes addicted to cocaine and to deadbeat men. She found herself taking care of men that only ended up hurting and abandoning her. At a low point in her life, Faith met Raheem. Raheem became the first man that wanted to take care of her and help her beat her addiction.
Faith kicked her addiction but years later Raheem and Faith have found that they have grown apart. Raheem grew tired of being her caretaker and Faith was tired of feeling unloved. Raheem has numerous affairs and had put his hands on her more than once. Faith was always afraid to ask for a divorce because of the debt she felt she owed Raheem for sticking by her and him supporting her materially.
She eventually gets the strength to ask for a divorce but Raheem fights her on it. Faith remains determined to end the marriage and begins to step out on her own. Things get complicated when Faith falls for another man. Cautious about getting into another relationship and Raheem’s defiance make things very hard for this counselor of troubled women.
As the novel progresses, the women slowly come to terms with their lives. Most of the situations in the novel come to some resolution but like real life, not everything is tied up neatly. This may turn off some readers but it is small thing. “Sister Girls 2” shows you real women. Women with the same problems, hopes, fears and doubts we all have.