Making Mary Reviews

About Making Mary:

     Although Making Mary is a gripping, most compelling love story based on true accounts, it is also a chronicle of the social conditions of a "dead" people.  Muhammad is an omniscient narrator who is steeped in understanding of human and social cycles. The masterfully told and descriptive story is about the author's great-grandmother and the domestic violence she suffered at the hands of her husband. As the Civil War is the back drop of Gone with the Wind, the Black Experience is the backdrop of this riveting page-turner.  The two major settings are Escambia County, Florida and Detroit-Pontiac Michigan from the aftermath of slavery up through the Great Depression. As in George Orwell's 1984, Author Muhammad foretells implications of the present day.

     Humor and wit is laced throughout the chapters, allowing the reader to fully absorb even the most hostile villain. One reviewer wrote, "I have folded over pages where I read brilliant sentences that made me read them twice sometimes three times...I am at the part where Henry found Vivian on Lee's front porch.  He bought her back to his cabin and he is pressuring her to stay and be with him.....WOW....this part is blowing me away plus I want to fight Lee right now!  Dedra this book is soooo good...." Erin J. Greene

     The first edition of Making Mary was published almost two decades ago (the grey cover). The second edition (yellow cover) is the true book.  However due to the author's inability to come out of the closet about abuse and other issues, there now has to be a rebirth of Making Mary. The few people who have been exposed to it have written eye-opening reviews that lifts the author not only to promote her book, but to start a movement to bring awareness to domestic violence.  

     Please watch this 3 minute video produced by students. This is the first time Muhammad has uttered the truth about Making Mary publicly, and it was in October, 2019, almost two decades after the first publication:


Gasping Reviews:

Review #1

Afrikan American History Channel’--Sheldon Barnes, 2008 


"I find your book (Making Mary by Dedra Muhammad) to be as well written as Barack Obama's "Dreams from my Father," except it is more intriguing and contains a lot more suspense.

I would say definitely that Making Mary is a "masterpiece," and a must read. It is a love story, history, true story and a black experience.  There are so many themes in this book that I can relate to. Very well written and filled with turns and twists that you would never imagine."

Review #2

From APEX Reviews:

“Well, you know, Dedra, some surprises are best treated like Christmas presents: you'd rather wait until you see the looks on their faces once they open them for themselves...


Of course, at the risk of ruining the surprise: how does a 5-star review sound to you...? ; )


Congratulations! I've forwarded the info to you, so you should be receiving it soon. Thanks again for all your great support, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Have a great day,



P.S. - All of us here love your book so much, we think you'd be a great guest on Voices & Vibes, the new Internet radio show hosted by Marcus Harris, Founder & CEO of our parent company, Urban Echoes Entertainment. Would you like to appear on the show? If so, I'll let Marcus know (who's also read your book, by the way, and LOVED it), and we can get you booked for an appearance. Thanks again.




Review #3

Dedra -


   ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!   YOU DID THAT!!!!!!!!!!


   This is Erin - Dawn's friend from the cruise - and I promised to email you when I got to chapter 5 to let you know what i thought of the book. 


   Dedra, your book is GREAT!  I love it. I told you I love a good story that will keep me captivated and guessing.  You told me the book had it and you never lied. I absolutely love the book. 


  I am at work now but I have folded over pages where I read brilliant sentences that made me read them twice sometimes three times.  Your ability to write is definitely a gift and I pray that it takes you higher than you ever imagined. When I finish the book, I am going to email you back and refer to some of the play on words that just has me in awe of you!


  I don't know what chapter I am in, but I am at the part where Henry found Vivian on Lee's front porch.  He bought her back to his cabin and he is pressuring her to stay and be with him.....WOW....this part is blowing me away plus I want to fight Lee right now!  Dedra, this book is soooo good. I am telling any and everybody about this book.


  I hope you and your family are doing great!  You will definitely hear from me soon..........


Stay Blessed -



Erin  J. Greene

Review #4


     I quickly became 100% hooked on Sister Dedra Muhammad outstanding novel. Carol, Vivian Minnie,Lee, Henry, Eli --- it really seems like I've met them all on the road we call life. As a writer Sister Muhammad is much more than good she's great. I strongly admire like the way that she weaves precious gems of wisdom in the midst of passion and drama. She is teaching a superior message almost below the threshold of conscious perception . Just take a brief look at her primary characters : Growing up in the south Lee received positive feedback for his negative lifestyle.

     Being in the state of triple darkness that our people were in at that point in our history it would have been almost impossible for him to act out any role other than the role afforded as an extension of plantation life- a baby making, love her and leave her type of man. His insecurities are seen anytime he perceives a chance that he might lose the one reality that he loves---Vivian. Don't hate him, rise above emotion and try to understand him. His problem is that he doesn't know himself. Blinded by falsehoods, lies and a poor self-image. Many of us have been there in one degree or another.

     Vivian and Minnie may be too sides of the same coin. Both are defensively deceptive due to their exposure to Carol's relationships with men (not including Eli, who is the best embodiment of true manhood).The difference is that Minnie deceives herself while Vivian deceives others. This may have helped lead to Henry's dilemma of loving Minnie but feeling in love with Vivian. Two sides to the same coin.

Read this book. Meet these characters. It is impossible to be intellectually indifferent with knowledge of that caliber around . Through the pen of Dedra Muhammad you will explore your own soul.


------Herbert Sulaiman Shabazz

This interview was done a long time ago by "Joey Reviews." I'm posting my answer to ONE question:


Question 2: What sets Making Mary apart from any other love story regardless of time, race and gender?


          Making Mary is outwardly guised as a breathtaking love story. The love triad serves to navigate the sensibilities of the reader—the reader is compelled to fall in love with the characters. In fact, the passion readers possess for the extraordinarily well-developed characters gives the other themes unimaginable strength. Making Mary can be called the greatest love story ever because the character depth in each actor is profound. How Stella got her Groove Back, though entertaining, pales in comparison to the ardor and profundity present in Making Mary. This is not to subtract from the former, it is to suggest that readers are more privy to the characters’ subliminal mental processing in Making Mary. Readers are hence propelled to find solutions to their own everyday struggles since they can identify with the seemingly most vicious villains in Making Mary, or that part of self we tend to hide from others.

          The Best Man can be considered a love story, yet Making Mary is more than a love story. A story of love is told, and that story happens to be the most heart-wrenching story I’ve ever read in my life. Yet to describe it as a love story alone would be misleading. Making Mary is like The Secret in the sense that there is a crystal clear connect when a reader is engaged in the story. I know right away if one has thumbed through it versus reading it. Some book club representatives have thumbed through it and went so far as to write reviews based on skimming. A review is incomplete if it attempts to describe a mere narrative which is void of the interpersonal syntheses or individual and social connectivity that make the issues shared in the book jump off the pages into the souls of readers.

          To make it plain, I sometimes describe Making Mary as a love story to capture the attention of readers who are accustomed to a particular genre. Making Mary is thus quite palatable to those who like Zane, Eric Jerome Dickey, and Terri McMillan. Nonetheless, she can sit on any bookshelf next to the likes of the great Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neal Hurston, Toni Morrison; she can cross-compare to Gone with the Wind and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, and all would be in good company. Jane Eyre is a riveting love story if you will. Nonetheless, the history and themes are so powerful that it is considered required reading in plenty of honors literature courses. Though entertaining, Waiting to Exhale is not the type of literature I would expect my English professor would have the class discuss as a group. Terri McMillan obviously did not mean it for that purpose.

     Some critics have stated that Making Mary should be considered required reading in an array of fields---and they have not made this claim because it is considered merely the most compelling love story of all times. In Gone with the Wind, the Civil War is a backdrop of an inspiring love story; in Making Mary, the Black Experience is the backdrop demonstrative of mental conditions that have spread over generations. Additionally noteworthy by God’s Grace is Making Mary appeals to a wide audience. 

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