Gotta Keep on Tryin'

A Novel

Gotta Keep on Tryin'

From the bestselling authors of Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made comes a heartwarming tale of how true friendship can overcome life's obstacles.

Gayle Saunders and Patricia Reid have been lifelong friends, as close as sisters. When they were teens their dreams led them down separate paths and away from each other. But they reunited as adults, drawn back together by a bond of friendship that stood the test of time.

Now Pat and Gayle co-own the Ell & Me Company, a business they founded based on a character Gayle created years ago for her daughter. Things are going well, but real-life dramas ensue as each must face issues from the past in order to protect the future.

Pat and Marcus look like the perfect twenty-first-century couple -- smart, talented, each at the helm of a high-profile enterprise and at the top of their game. But behind closed doors their marriage is challenged by the stresses of a two-entrepreneur household. Will their professional pursuits leave them time for each other and a family, or carry them into the arms of others? Will a paternity claim prove to be too much of an obstacle to overcome?

Gayle faces her own family drama and struggles to maintain control of her life. Despite dating other men, has she ever really gotten over her ex-husband, Ramsey, the gambler who left her and their daughter, Vanessa, in financial ruin? Gayle bends over backward to provide a stable, comfortable home for Vanessa, and support her dream of becoming a dancer. And Vanessa, a rebellious and hurtful teen, seems just as devoted to making Gayle pay for every mistake she has ever made. And what ever happened to Ramsey?

In Gotta Keep on Tryin', Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant bring us heroines who remind you, for better and worse, of women everywhere -- women who know that true friendship keeps us grounded. And when things get rough the bond between women can be stronger than any trials we face.
  • Touchstone | 
  • 384 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416531685 | 
  • November 2008
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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Points
1. When you read the opening prologue, did you think Pat was talking about her friend or her husband? What about her friendship with Gayle is like a romantic relationship? Do you think these elements ultimately help or hurt their dynamic?
2. Pat and Gayle are two women working hard to create success on their own terms. What else makes them similar? What makes them different? How do they complement each other as friends and business partners?
3. What is it that drives Tiffani to go to Marcus? Did you agree with Marcus's sympathetic view of her? At what point did you lose sympathy for her, or didn't­ you? Why?
4. How does Vanessa's "can't-­do"­ attitude reflect Gayle's? What other traits of Gayle's does Vanessa pick up on? Do you think children unconsciously absorb their parents' attitudes and behaviors, or do you think it takes a more active role to instill both negative and positive characteristics in children?
5. Gayle knows that Pat is uncomfortable not being in control. Yet, on some level, Gayle's binging and purging arises out of a similar discomfort. How does a need for control affect the characters in this novel? What consequences do they suffer because of it?
6. Pat claims that she's afraid of not being a good mother, yet she has no problem telling Gayle what she should do with her own child. What is really at the root of Pat's reluctance to have a see more

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About the Authors

Virginia DeBerry
Photograph by Bob Gore

Virginia DeBerry

Virginia DeBerry was a successful plus-size model, former Vice President of BB/LW modeling agency and served as editor-in-chief of Maxima magazine before becoming a novelist. DeBerry is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo. She currently resides in central New Jersey.

Donna Grant
Bill Wylie

Donna Grant

Donna Grant spent more than a decade as a model for catalogs and advertisements. Grant has been featured on the pages of Essence, McCalls, Family Circle, and Woman's Day, as well as appeared on Good Morning America, and Live with Regis and Kathy Lee. Grant served as the Managing Editor of Maxima before her writing career. A Brooklyn native, she is a graduate of New York University and still lives in the borough with her husband.