Friday 9 July 2021

What's Mine And Yours by Naima Coster | Book Review

[AD/Gifted - I received a proof copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

What's Mine And Yours by Naima Coster - 5/5
"When a county initiative in the Piedmont of North Carolina forces the students at a mostly black public school on the east side to move across town to a nearly all-white high school on the west, the community rises in outrage. For two students, quiet and aloof Gee and headstrong Noelle, these divisions will extend far beyond their schooling. As their paths collide and overlap over the course of thirty years, their two seemingly disconnected families begin to form deeply knotted, messy ties that shape the trajectory of their lives.

On one side of the school integration debate is Jade, Gee's steely, single, black mother, grieving for her murdered partner, and determined for her son to have the best chance at a better life. On the other, is Noelle's enterprising mother, Lacey May, who refuses to see her half-Latina daughters as anything but white. The choices these mothers make will resound for years to come. And twenty years later, when Lacey's daughters return home to visit her in hospital, they're forced to confront the ways their parents' decisions continue to affect the life they live and the people they love."

This book is a stunner.

What's Mine And Yours follows two families over fluctuating timelines in Piedmont, North Carolina. Black couple Ray and Jade have a son that they call Gee. Lacey May is white and has three daughters, Noelle, Margarita and Diana, with Robbie who is Latino and they are being raised in a white neighbourhood.

The book opens really strongly with a heartbreaking scene at the end of the first chapter and then the story weaves its way at a steady pace as we hear about the characters lives now as adults but flashing back to teenage years too.

The school that Lacey May's children go to is being merged with another school. A predominantly Black one. A lot of the parents are against it. They see the school as being high quality and the students mostly come out with top marks. They think the amalgamation will change everything. Noelle who has her own issues with Lacey May, befriends Gee, much to her mother's annoyance. Jade isn't happy with the situation for Gee either.

This book tackles the issue of race and how it can affect relationships and explores the intricacies of family in many different forms. It is complex and beautiful.

I went into this excited because I had heard that it had 'This Is Us' vibes and I completely felt it. Coster is a wonderful storyteller.

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