4 out of 4 stars
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Following his arrest and trial, Roland Sato Page seeks answers to some questions that plague his mind. "Where did I go wrong? How did I get myself in this predicament? When did I take the wrong road?" These questions lead us into the revealing, suspenseful journey that is Eating the Forbidden Fruit. While the book is a fictional story, it is largely based on the author's life, as he gives us a brief exposé on his background as an African-American and Japanese, childhood, and wild experiences as a young adult. He also explores relationships with his family, friends, and "the streets," and we see how these relationships and experiences shape the man he becomes and answer the questions above.
I must say that reading this book was quite the thrilling experience that I had hoped for after reading the book's description. The first part of the book that stuck out to me was how much growing up in St. Louis influenced the author's writing style. Employing grammar particular to the African-American vernacular English, the author added an element of creativity and uniqueness to the story, and it gave me a sense of having an actual conversation with a real person. The author's informal and dramatic style of describing events also played a role in this area for me.
Furthermore, in this book, Roland bares it all. He shows us his strengths and flaws, and he is not afraid to take responsibility for his actions. He also doesn't shy away from giving his honest opinion on sensitive issues in the book. The author's level of honesty made the book very relatable for me, and I'm sure readers will feel the same way and see a bit of themselves in Roland's victories and struggles.
The book also explores racism, the difficulties of growing up as a mixed-race individual in America, police brutality, and the author's struggles with choosing between serving his country and his love for family and "the streets." Readers will find these parts of the book very engaging and revealing.
Eating the Forbidden Fruit is also well-edited, and there isn't much to complain about, save for a few minor grammatical errors. Some readers may not be familiar with some terms used by the author, but he attempts to explain some of the terms when used. The book is also heavy on direct and indirect sexual references. Therefore, it is not suitable for a younger audience or people that may find it offensive. I rate this book a solid 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend Eating the Forbidden Fruit to lovers of documentary drama novels and memoirs.
Eating the Forbidden Fruit
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