Book Review: “The Choir Director”
Author: Carl Weber
In your house, Sundays belong to God.
Even before you get up, you start Sundays with prayer. You put on your best clothes and open your mind to receive the Lord. You might have breakfast, or you might fast before you head over to church; either way, you’re hungry for The Word.
You can’t wait to get it.
In the new novel, “The Choir Director” by Carl Weber, (c.2011, Kensington Dafina, $24/ $29.45. Canada. 330 pages) Bishop T.K. Wilson’s First Jamaica Church is hungry for a good music leader.
What they don’t need is any more scandal.
After what happened with the last choir director, attendance was down on Sundays which meant low donations. With bills to pay, Bishop T.K. Wilson knew he had to find a good musical director to renew his congregation. But he wanted the best.
Aaron Mackie was the best, and he always dreamed of leading a church choir in a place like Queens. Sure, he was swayed by the money the Bishop was offering, but a chance at greatness was even better. It was also a chance to escape a past Mackie didn’t want made public.
Ever since Monique became First Lady of First Jamaica, all eyes were on her but that was okay.
People could watch all they wanted. Monique loved her husband, and there was nothing she would do to hurt him. And, as long as past secrets stayed buried, everything would be just fine.
For most of her life, sexy Simone Wilcox got what she wanted. If she couldn’t get it from daddy, she would get it from the next man in her life, because she knew how to use her charms. So, when Simone set her sights on the new choir director, she figured it was only a matter of time before she was Mrs. Aaron Mackie.
While . . . over in the hospital, James Black was dying.
James was a rascal in his day and had made too many enemies. Now there was nobody by his bedside but his old friend, Bishop T.K. Wilson. James and the Bishop were like brothers, and James knew First Jamaica was struggling.
He wanted to help, but about the only thing a dying man can offer is information. And James had plenty of that . . .
Let’s cut to the chase: “The Choir Director” is filled with cash, trash, and flash. Most of the characters are awful, scheming people, most of whom you’d shun in real life. The situations are over-the-top shameful. Author Carl Weber brings his readers back to First Jamaica Ministries, a place that seems to attract more back-stabbing than blessings and more trouble than tithes.
I haven’t had this much fun reading a novel in a long time. Seriously, this stuff is great when you’re in the mood for something nasty.
I was. I loved it.
Be aware that there are, or course, “four-letter words” and situations in this book, but if you’re looking for something wild to read, grab this. A few hours with “The Choir Director,” and you’ll be singing its praises, too.
In an attempt to drum up more business, Chick-fil-A has ads and billboards featuring black-and-white spotted cows—acting in what the company calls its “enlightened self-interest”—urging people to “Eat Mor Chikin.”
But that’s not what gay rights advocates want in the aftermath of the president of Chick-fil-A expressing his opposition to same-sex marriage. They don’t want the public to eat more chicken at Chick-fil-A—they don’t want consumers to eat any chicken served by the Atlanta-based chain.
The madness we now call “holidays” takes on a different meaning in times like these, when you have people without homes and homes without people.
Instead of society focusing on what it should be focused on—rectifying greed run amuck, or putting a stop to the gamesmanship of a dysfunctional Congress—we instead preoccupy ourselves with another holiday that becomes more absurd than the last.
The Black churches of Los Angeles appear to be losing the struggle to stay vital, which could have grave consequences for an institution that cultivated one of the most important social movements in American history, according to a new report authored by Daniel E. Walker, a research associate with the USC Dornsife College’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture.
Church is a wonderful place for Christians, where people are healed, delivered from their past excesses, meet their mates, learn the scriptures and get doused in the Holy Spirit. Often, movies and critics mock such church happenings with exaggerative skits and scenes that demonstrate ladies dancing down isles and people falling to the ground, convulsing as if enduring a holy seizure. But some would credit the jokes to lack of understanding, or even to fear.
The Pan African community is rich with a history of freedom-fighting and change-making, from Nat Turner’s insurrection to Marcus Garvey’s international Back to Africa Movement to the Civil Rights Movement. What many of these moments have in common is that they all encompassed a religious aspect that allowed their participants to connect spiritually to the struggle afoot.