If Only You Knew Review
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Jamal comes from a troubled family. His mother abandoned him and his twin sister Shadow at an early age. Their grandmother and an uncle they called Coach raised them.

Shadow eventually moves on from the events in their childhood, but Jamal himself remains trapped. Jamal is an unbelievably good young man. He is good to the point of being totally boring. He's a man well into his 20s who cannot spend an intimate night with his girlfriend without calling his grandmother. He's in love with a gold digger named Jessie, so in love that when it becomes obvious that she is having an affair, Jamal dismisses evidence that she is doing so.

The men in If Only You Knew are such good men that they take care of women and accept children as their own even when it is possible that they are not the biological fathers.

Jamal's mother, Karen, was raped by her uncle around the same time she had a one-night stand with a man in the army. Karen doesn't see this man for many years, but somehow, after more than 20 years, she locates him via the Internet and tells him he is the father of two children. He rushes to see Shadow and Jamal and does not demand evidence that he is the father. Shadow and Jamal are more than happy to believe he is their father, in order to save them from being their uncle's children.

Jamal's gold digging/prostitute friend, Jessie, becomes pregnant. She informs Jamal he is the father of their baby while she's living as the concubine of a drug dealer named Trey. She claims that Jamal must be the father because while she had unprotected sex with Jamal, she always wore a condom with Trey. Jamal accepts this explanation and marries her, without considering that condoms are not 100% effective. In other words, Trey could be the father. Jessie also did not care where Trey got the money to buy her fabulous gifts. Later, she does a completely unrealistic turn around.

As the book nears the end, the main theme seems to be: "Never give up on your first relationship." There's no sensible reason why Jamal's mother and father would appear as a couple at Jamal's wedding. Many such unbelievable scenarios occur in the book. This certainly is not a recommended read.

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