A Steamy Update on a Shakespearean Classic

It was a frothy and fun novel, and yet Williams also managed to make it feel less like cotton candy (absolutely no redeeming nutritional value) and more like kettle corn (it’s junk food, yes, but I can make the argument that it’s “healthy” junk food).

Eva Mercy, the protagonist, is a Black writer who lives in Brooklyn with her tween daughter, Audre. She is known for her bestselling vampire/witch erotica series, the first installment of which she wrote at age 19. Shane Hall is a Black literary fiction writer with Robert Pattinson smolder who lives a nomadic off-Instagram lifestyle, much to the disappointment of his very large fanbase. Both Eva and Shane have their demons. Eva suffers from a secret invisible chronic illness. Shane is in recovery from a very serious addiction. Both of them are still, 15 years later, reeling from an intense seven-day love affair they had in high school — and both of them have been using their books to communicate to one another over the transom. When Shane shows up, unexpected and uninvited, to a book panel Eva is sitting on, he upends both their lives (and the book world, to boot).

Chronic illness is not sexy. It does not make you stronger. Williams does not pretend that it is or that it does.

Eva’s disability kicks her ass, ruins her life daily, and, by the end of the novel, she has not been given (and will not get) a reprieve. I cannot articulate how profoundly refreshing and rare that is — and for that alone, Seven Days rocketed to an immovable at-least-3-star read for me.

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Wynter K Miller

Wynter K Miller

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Wynter K Miller is an editor and writer in California. @wynterkm