Finding Salliq by Robert L. Anderson is the story of Salliq Washington, a twenty-something African American who seems to be drifting from one girlfriend to another with not much of a goal in life. He's bright, has a college degree, but he doesn't seem to be very motivated at work. He's currently dating Traci, whom his parents love, but for some reason he can't keep his focus on her, either. When she moves temporarily to Kentucky for an internship in her field, he isn't sure if she's coming back or not, and he's not sure how he feels about her being gone.
One of Salliq’s problems is that he loves women. He’s not an all-out bad sort of guy, but he is often tempted and cannot say "no". While he really loves Traci, he has an ex-girlfriend by the name of Rehnay that keeps popping back into his life. She’s the reason he moved to D.C. in the first place. However, although she’s part of his past, she has a problem with the word “no” coming from Salliq. It seems that the less Salliq wants her, the more she wants him. When Reynay finds out about Traci and discovers Salliq has got someone serious in his life, that is when she starts to harass him to no end. She seems to be on a mission to destroy the good relationship he has with Traci.
Another subplot line is Salliq’s career. He has a good job with a tech company, but for some reason or another he finds ways to bungle things so that there are times when he is performing so badly, he should have been fired. He has so much to give to the company, yet he does the stupidest things, such as showing up late for work on the day of a very important presentation to a client. Salliq is in general a really good person at heart, but he’s at a bad place in his life, and doesn’t seem to care one way or another about his job or his love life.
While some of the main themes of the story sound rather serious, the tone of the book is lighthearted in many areas. The book is very contemporary and the characters feel real. Anderson does a good job with character development, focusing on Salliq’s errant ways. However, one can’t help but root for Salliq and pray that his life will turn around. His lowest point hits when he ends up partying at a club and drinks so much that he can’t remember which side is up.
One of this reviewer’s favorite characters in the book is Salliq’s co-worker, Jimbo, who is as white as they come but pretends he’s black. This brings on a number of very funny scenes between the two, and although Jimbo is a minor character in the book, he is a welcome addition, adding to the comedy that prevails throughout the novel. Other characters that stand out are Salliq’s roommates, as well as Traci, Reynay, and of course Salliq himself.
While at first one may not see the point of this story, it will be obvious by the end of the book where the story is leading the reader. This is not to say that the journey of this book to its conclusion was not enjoyable. It was a very refreshing and amusing story, to say the least. However, the last few chapters were definitely a twist of character for Salliq, and in his case it was for the better. This reviewer did not expect this conclusion at all, and while normally would not care for this type of ending, it was a satisfactory conclusion to a well-written book. Some readers may immediately think of the writing of Eric Jerome Dickey while reading Finding Salliq. The characters are raw, wild and love to party. However, while Salliq does a lot of soul searching to get to his happy ending, as do some of the characters from any Dickey novel, this book was a little bit gentler than the average Dickey book. Dickey’s books have a sharper edge to them. This is not to say that either author is better than the other is. Both have a lot to offer to the reader, and I hope that Anderson continues to write these novels. It was a pleasure to be able to read and review Finding Salliq.