Sadeqa Johnson has given us a sweet love story – Love in a Carry-on Bag. Erica and Warren have managed to balance their long distance relationship for over a year. They have not missed a weekend together, spending either in New York or Washington, DC until Erica’s job responsibilities increase.
Erica is an up and coming professional at a publishing company. Erica battles demons from her childhood stemming from her parents’ divorce, while climbing the corporate ladder. Warren, torn between his love for music and the guaranteed income of a 9-to-5, is tormented by the death of his mother and the demands of his father.
When the burden of Erica’s needy, alcoholic mother, Warren’s knowledge of his father’s infidelity, Erica’s demanding job, and Warren’s naivety of his co-workers seduction come to a head, Warren reaches his boiling point and breaks up with Erica. Both are miserable without each other. After sleepless nights, unanswered phone calls, and a widening gap of uncertainty, the couple gradually drifts apart.
However, in the spirit of a true love story, there is a happy ending. Both Erica and Warren mend the relationships with their parents. Warren recognizes music as his calling and Erica seizes the opportunity to be her own boss. Most importantly, the two pledge their love to each other, embracing the changes, ups and downs that occur in a relationship.
Johnson certainly has a way with words. She successfully fused jazz, style, and a plethora of emotions together to create line after line of genius. Her experience in the industry is evident and has served her well with this, her first novel.
Natasha R. Hines