What You Owe Me

Front Cover
G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2001 - Fiction - 533 pages
Los Angeles, 1945: When Hosanna Clark, newly arrived from the farm fields of Texas, befriends Holocaust survivor Gilda Rosenstein, she opens the door to a new life for them both. Using Gilda's knowledge of cosmetics and Hosanna's energy and determination, they begin producing a line of lipsticks and lotions for black women. The two are more than partners: They are dear friends.

Then Gilda suddenly disappears, taking all the assets. Hosanna is doubly betrayed: financially ruined and emotionally bereft. When, years later, she passes away, her small cosmetics company dies with her. But Hosanna leaves behind a daughter steeped in her mother's pain: Matriece is as smart and driven as her mother and savvy enough to recognize that white firms are competing not only for black consumer dollars but for black professional talent as well. When Gilda's huge cosmetics conglomerate hires her to launch a line of black beauty products, Matriece takes on a mission to collect her mother's debt.

What You Owe Me is a stunning account of the changes we have seen in white attitudes toward blacks, but it is also a sensitive look at what betrayal -- of friendship, of love -- does to us all. Ultimately, it is a moving book about healing. As Emerge magazine acknowledged, "Campbell's writings are a beacon of light, helping assuage the anger by tending our deepest wounds".

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User Review  - SeriousGrace - LibraryThing

What You Owe Me begins in Los Angeles in 1945. Hosanna Clark is working as a hotel chambermaid when she meets Holocaust survivor, Gilda Rosenstein. Gilda and Hosanna become fast friends, bonded by ... Read full review

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User Review  - karen.collins - LibraryThing

There were several characters in this book and so much of the first half was all a set-up, an introduction to these multiple characters. They did all tie-in together for the second half and there ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

Bebe Moore Campbell is the author of Singing in the Comeback Choir, Your Blues Ain't Like Mine, and Brothers and Sisters. She is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio. AUTHCOMMENTS:

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