Only twice I've wished for heaven: a novel
, 1996 - Fiction
- 304 pages
Eleven-year-old girl Tempestt and her family are given what is considered the chance of a lifetime: to move on up to Lakeland. It's a chance to leave behind the gritty neighborhood Tempestt has known throughout her entire life for one square mile of pristine beauty carved out of a Chicago ghetto and secured by a 10-foot-tall, ivy-covered, wrought iron fence. Tempestt is quickly drawn to the streets beyond the fence, to a place of colorful, often dangerous, characters: 35th Street. Here the saved and the sinners are both so "done-up" you can't tell one from the other: Alfred Mayes, the oily preacher and connoisseur of "fine young thangs," whose line is as smooth as honey and whose looks are twice as sweet; and Miss Jonetta, a former lady of the evening who knows everyone's stories, and whose own history is as long and dark as 35th Street itself. Barely a month after moving to Lakeland, Tempestt will witness the death of friend, cause the arrest of a preacher, and start a chain of events that will send 35th Street up in flames.