Legal Tender: True Tales of a Brothel Madam
Laraine Russo Harper
Stephens Press (2008)
Reviewed by Danelle Drake for Reader Views (11/08)
Okay, I admit it; I have always been somewhat fascinated with how people go from “point A” to “point B” in life. I have seen families who were ripped apart from unthinkable events and watched the children grow into adults. How could one child in this family of three children grow into a positive being while the other two continue down the path of destruction? There are many different ways to describe success; personal, financial, or having what everyone thinks you need. Regardless of how you view it, you will have to agree “Legal Tender” is about one woman’s success that enabled others to succeed and have some incredible and compassionate journeys from “point A” to “point B.”
Being right smack here in the middle of the “Bible belt” I have heard many views of people opposing legal prostitution. Here in North Carolina, prostitution is illegal — like teen pregnancy, there are those caught and those not-caught, but more than likely more than you think are participating. Life would be much more peaceful and the crime-rate lower if many of the things that are considered illegal for moral opinion be accepted and monitored.
“Legal Tender” opens your eyes and fills you in a sometimes-comical, in-your-face, way with information you have probably always wondered about but really had nobody to ask. Written in a matter-of-fact way “Legal Tender” is a great first effort, and a gutsy one, by Laraine Russo Harper. Those who know her would expect nothing else. Her willingness to take the risk and jump in there dedicating herself to building a great brothel from a trashy group of trailers will inspire you to live the dream you believe you were meant to live.
One could encompass this work, “Legal Tender,” as a how-to, inspirational, self-help, money management, “unthinkable” book all rolled up into a story about a brothel. I, for one, sure did learn a few things I didn’t know….but will not soon forget!