Although Sister Souljah’s newest book, “Midnight” was touted as the long-awaited sequel to her lauded street-lit classic, “The Coldest Winter Ever”, the good news is that it is not. Instead the book is a fascinating prequel that explains one young man’s journey from birth to mid-teens as a Sudanese immigrant to a graduate (with honors) of the school of hard knocks.
The book re-introduces Midnight, (prior to him working for drug lord Ricky Santiaga),who readers will remember as the mysterious, handsome drug dealer that Winter, Santiaga’s daughter, lusted after in “Coldest”. Surviving is no easy feat for Midnight as he endures the perils of growing up young, Black and poor in Brooklyn, an extreme departure from the comforts he enjoyed as the son of an elite Sudanese political advisor, who has since disappeared from Midnight’s life. Falling in love with Japanese beauty Akemi only complicates things for Midnight as he tries to hold steadfast to his Muslim faith and manhood in a land far from his native Sudan.
What makes “Midnight” so compelling is Souljah’s ability to describe Midnight’s experiences so vividly and authentically. Her writing captures the innocence in his fears, mistakes and even his prejudices all while entertaining you with rich characters and compelling storylines. While some may not agree that “Midnight” is urban fiction (especially since there is no mention of the Santiaga family), the novel exhibits Souljah’s growth as a writer while delivering a powerful, modern love story.
Highly recommended, “Midnight” showcases Souljah’s strength at creating realistic, creative stories that give a voice to the complexities of urban people, written in that authentic way that only she can.