Abby Sheaffer reviews The Hustle: A Means to an End by Donisha Derice and Jai Darlene

 From the very beginning, The Hustle: A Means to an End doesn’t mess around. Told from the perspective of two different sisters, The Hustle examines the lives of Bella and Beau Jones following the loss of their father. The novel is at once glamorous and fast-paced, while also offering a very eloquent and engaging tale about four strong African-American women, the center of which is the very well-developed and queenly matriarch in their grandma, whom they call “GG”.

 Beau (short for Beaunifide) and Bella are as different as can be. Whereas Beau is petite, curvy and mercurial, Bella is tall, svelte and exotic. Nevertheless, they hustle together, but hustling is not what they’re all about. Beau has her designs on law school, while Bella wishes to become a model. The authors (Donisha Derice and Jai Darlene) write in a very voyeuristic and detailed way that makes it easy for the reader to imagine The Hustle as either a sleek Bravo TV series or a glamorous feature length film.

Derice and Darlene have collaborated on a unique novel that shows their strengths as writers. What will draw you in is the sexy voyeurism and glamour, but what will make you stay is the family saga at the heart of the novel. I highly recommend this book.

3 out of 4 stars

 The Hustle: A Means to an End


Donisha Derice and Jai Darlene

Hope Street Publishing

July 23, 2014 (1st edition)

258 pages