Don’t Poke the Bear
Atmosphere Press (2022)
Reviewed by Kathy Stickles for Reader Views (10/2022)
“Don’t Poke the Bear” by Robin D’Amato takes us inside the lives of Allie, Natia, and Rihanna. Although the three women come from very different backgrounds, now in the amazing city of New York, they have found each other for friendship and support. We follow the three in their daily lives, which are full of challenging careers and boyfriends that are, on a good day, a bit difficult. We also get to see them dealing with the everyday parts of life like paying rent, sex, and survival in one of the largest, most diverse, and always altering cities in the country. While the characters go through their day-to-day struggle, they must each deal in different ways, but it always comes back to three friends who really support and help one another, giving the reader a true grasp of the bond that they share.
As it states on the back of the book, “this novel is Sex in the City for real people.” These characters’ lives are not filled with perfect jobs, expensive restaurants, etc. For them, as with the characters in the show however, it is the same close friendship but a true-to-life version full of serious problems and normal everyday stress and confusion that we all feel, coupled with the job of friendship and being there for each other.
Ms. D’Amato has given us a well-written story with fully developed and interesting characters that we are able to come to know and care about. It is original and engaging, fun at times and then full of drama and heartbreak at other times. We get to see true friendship, true courage, and great humor through the words on the page. This is definitely women’s fiction at its best because it is realistic, keeps the reader involved and, at times, very emotional. It will also appeal, both the location and the story, to those living in such a diverse city and the very real situations and issues that must be faced in life. Either way, this author uses wit, excellent writing, and vivid descriptions that make the reader feel connected to the characters and the city.
I would highly recommend “Don’t Poke the Bear” by Robin D’Amato to anyone out there who wants to read a story that is real and deals with real people and their real problems. I thoroughly enjoyed every page and look forward to more from this outstanding author. 5 Stars!