I think the world is obsessed with retellings of classic stories: Ghostbusters with a female cast, more and more Spider-Man movies, etc. Unforgivable Love by Sophfronia Scott is no exception. It is a retelling of Dangerous Liaisons, a play that was turned into a movie.
The retelling takes place in 1947 Harlem, the summer Jackie Robinson starts his professional baseball career – a time setting which I found fascinating. We get to know Mae Malveaux, a wealthy heiress, who doesn’t seem to believe in love. She uses men for their affection and bodies and then throws them away when she’s done with them. You can imagine how angry (hurt?) she is when Frank leaves her to find a wife more to his tastes – a virginal Southern belle named Cecily.
Enter the revenge plot: Mae wants revenge on Frank for leaving her so she makes a deal with Valiant (Val) Jackson – a man with a shady reputation in Harlem, but a passion for Mae – if he makes virginal Cecily no longer a virgin, Mae will sleep with Val.
There’s more, but I don’t want to spoil anything.