This novel was my favorite of all. It tells the story of Mina Matthews, an up-and-coming St. Louis hair stylist with lots of ambition. At the start of the book, Mina is engaged to one Andrew Wellington, the son of Mayor Andrew Wellington, Sr., who is running for Governor of Missouri. Andrew Jr. is a Class A Jerk -- and definitely not husband material. (My cover story this week has a few more details on that front.)
Mina's Joint has numerous plot twists, which I won't get into here. Instead I've picked a selection from early in the book, where Mina's mother and aunt head for the country for the "first meeting" with Mrs. Andrew Wellington to talk about wedding details.
Riding over to her mother's house that afternoon, she prayed that her mother and aunt did not have on their out-of-season furs. But lo and behold, as soon as her mother stepped out the door, Mina's worst fear was a reality.
It was the beginning of May and eighty-three degrees outside. Her mother and aunt glided down the steps decked out from head to toe in designer fakes. Rita sashayed toward the car in a long sleeved, black, fake Fendi top with a huge gold 'F' on the chest, black and gold Fendi logo pants, black chunky boots and her infamous black fox wrap. Now, mind you, Rita was a size eighteen and the outfit that she got from Frison's Flea Market was a size fourteen. How she squeezed herself into a size fourteen outfit, the world would never know....
Aunt Bernice was an even hotter mess. Aunt Bernice was 5'11" without heels and weighed two hundred pounds and she dared to wear a denim cat suit like J.Lo. She got that thing from the Rainbow on Page in Overland Plaza. Now Aunt Bernice had more butt than a lil' bit and it looked like a camel's hump. Since she was so tall the hem hit her about five inches above the ankle, giving the outfit a capris effect. Aunt Bernice was flooding worse than the forty days and forty nights that Noah talked about in the Bible. What do they say? Just because they make it in your size doesn't mean you should wear it.
The white and tan rabbit coat that Aunt Bernice got from Wilson's hugged her body tight and the tan stiletto heels caused her already swollen crusty feet to puff up evne more. With her swoop bangs, crinkled ponytail, red lipstick with black lip liner, white eyeliner around the rim of her eyelids and fake eyelashes, Aunt Bernice was ready to rock and roll.
"Hey, girl, let's go rock this bitch," Rita yelled as she put on her seatbelt.
The ride to the Wellington's mansion in Jefferson, Missouri was a long but eventful one for Mina. Her mom and Aunt argued the entire time about the intro of Tupac's CD, "Makaveli" while Nana Marie ordered that they listen to Gospel 1600.... By the time they pulled up to the mansion, Mina needed three aspirins to soothe her pounding headache.
"So, this is it?" Aunt Bernice spoke with her nose tooted up.
"I frankly don't see what all the fuss is about. It look like a regular ol' house to me," Rita hated.
"What's up with all the antique furniture? It look a funeral home up in here," Aunt Bernice whispered as they followed [the maid] through the house.
"Girl, don't it. It look like we up in A.L. Beal," Rita responded.
..."Why don't you all have a seat? Cook has prepared us a wonderful lunch." [says Mrs. Wellington.]
"Good 'cause a sista is starving. I had to skip dinner and breakfast this morning just to get into my skinny pants," Rita explained.
"Momma," Mina said a little embarrased.
"What? I'm sure Pearl has had to do the same thig on occasion, right, Pearl?" Rita asked.
"Well, umm... I'm not sure I have."
"Oh, girl, quit frontin' we all have but anyway this is a nice backyard ya'll have. Chile, we gon' have to have a barbeque back here."
"Right cook up some rib tips, pork steaks, neck bones and snoots, girl, it'll be on!" Bernice added.
"Snoots, what are those?" Mrs. Wellington asked.
"Lest we know who'll be doing all the cooking for the wedding," Bernice laughed high fiving her sister.
"I wanted to talk to you about that Rita," Mrs. Wellington said, tipsy from her spiked tea. "It normally is custom for the bride's parents to pay for the wedding but since we are so, how shall I say... a little more fortunate, Mr. Wellington and I have agreed to pay for the wedding for you all."
"What you think? We can't pay for our daughter to have a nice wedding?"
"I'm not saying that."
..."Look, thanks but no thanks. Mina's father and I will throw our baby girl the finest wedding this town has ever seen. Even if that means we have to max out every credit card, we have to do it."
"I would think that you would be a little more grateful that we offered to do this. I mean let's be real here, if it wasn't for my husband getting your husband a city contract you wouldn't even have a roof over your head," Mrs. Wellington slurred.
"Oh, no, she didn't!" Bernice threw her napkin down.
"If I didn't love my daughter and your son, I would bust yo' ass right now!" Rita yelled.
"I ain't got no ties to her bougie ass, I'll do it," Bernice went to grab for Mrs. Wellington's neck knocking over her best china.....