Enduring the pain of her mother’s murder, her father’s rejection, and her grandmother’s rules, Reva rebels against all positive influences. With an abortion behind her by age fifteen, Reva spirals from one bad decision to the next, with no guidelines to distinguish right from wrong. Intentionally getting pregnant to lure the married man she thinks she loves, Reva constantly flounders to provide for the son she finally bears. Stability eludes her at every turn. Despite the pack of despicable characters doing despicable things, this novel focuses on how abuse and neglect affect Reva over and over again.
Her decisions ultimately lead to a juxtaposed life of luxurious living off drug money against the emotional and physical pain her choices create. With her youth stolen, Reva vows to not destroy her future and break the vicious cycle that started in childhood.
Reva’s life mirrors that of many women who fight racism, poverty, incest, single parenthood, and drugs just to survive. As you read “Wages of Sin,” you’ll be horrified by the actions that feel so real, yet be compelled to turn the page to see what happens next.
Vanessa Kings’ Review
There is a very strong message that comes across the pages of “Wages of Sin”. Or several messages, I would say.
Choices have consequences, and Reva, the main character, struggles to find her footing as she stumbles from one bad decision to the next. Troubled since childhood, her broken moral compass takes her on paths that range from drug trafficking to bad relationships, even getting intentionally pregnant to secure what she thinks is true love. Ultimately, she has to take a stand in order to break her vicious cycle.
Due to the natural flow of the narrative, you can easily relate to Reva, understand where she comes from and how she ended up making all the bad choices she made, and eventually really root for her. The story itself is gripping, almost to the point where it feels like all these characters are real and that Reva’s story is in fact a true one.
In the end, the book made me long for more, but that is what good storytelling is all about. I will definitely be looking out for more from author Charlene Gage.