• Hardcover: 192 pages
• Publisher: Amistad (August 9, 2016)
The acclaimed New York Times bestselling and National Book Award–winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming delivers her first adult novel in twenty years.
Running into a long-ago friend sets memory from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything—until it wasn’t. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they ambled through neighborhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant—a part of a future that belonged to them.
But beneath the hopeful veneer, there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where ghosts haunted the night, where mothers disappeared. A world where madness was just a sunset away and fathers found hope in religion.
Like Louise Meriwether’s Daddy Was a Number Runner and Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina, Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn heartbreakingly illuminates the formative time when childhood gives way to adulthood—the promise and peril of growing up—and exquisitely renders a powerful, indelible, and fleeting friendship that united four young lives.
Praise for Another Brooklyn
“Another Brooklyn is a sort of fever dream, containing both the hard truths of life and the gentle beauty of memory. The story of a young girl trying to find herself in the midst of so many conflicting influences and desires swallowed me whole. Jacqueline Woodson has such an original vision, such a singular voice. I loved this book.” — Ann Patchett, New York Times Bestselling Author
“The novel’s richness defies its slim page count. In her poet’s prose, Woodson not only shows us backward-glancing August attempting to stave off growing up and the pains that betray youth, she also wonders how we dream of a life parallel to the one we’re living.” — Booklist (Starred Review)
“Woodson crafts a haunting coming-of-age story of four best friends in Brooklyn, New York…Here is an exploration of family—both the ones we are born into and the ones we make for ourselves—and all the many ways we try to care for these people we love so much, sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing. A stunning achievement from one of the quietly great masters of our time.” — Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“Woodson…combines grit and beauty in a series of stunning vignettes, painting a vivid mural of what it was like to grow up African-American in Brooklyn during the 1970s…Woodson draws on all the senses to trace the milestones in a woman’s life and how her early experiences shaped her identity.” — Publishers Weekly, (Boxed and Starred Review)
“With spare yet poetic writing, this long-awaited adult novel by National Book Award winner Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming) is a series of vignettes narrated by August, shortly after her dad’s funeral and a chance encounter with an old friend.” — Library Journal (starred review)
Happy Tuesday! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson. Thank you to the author, TLC Book Tours and the publisher for giving me the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review of it.
In Another Brooklyn, we follow the narrative of August as she returns home to Brooklyn for her father’s funeral. Reuniting with her brother, returning to the familiar setting and running into an old childhood friend results in August revisiting old memories and old tragedies of her childhood including her struggle with the death of her mother and her struggle to grow up in a sometimes harsh world.
I found this story to be a little sad in some parts, definitely even tragic although there are some triumphant moments as well. I was really affected by how August was basically traumatized by her mother’s death and how she struggles to cope with it throughout the story. As I get older and time goes by, I definitely have started to think more about time and about the people around me…I find myself exploring memories and this book had me thinking about that while I was reading it and immediately after.
Although I’m not used to the way it was written, I found I enjoyed it and was able to easily connect with our main character because of it. I almost felt like I was in her mind. The story does deal with some dark themes like drugs, death and sexual abuse, though not descriptive. The story just felt very real and it was an interesting look at what life may have been like for this one young black girl growing up on the edge of poverty in Brooklyn during the 70s and enduring struggle to ultimately come into her own. It’s really well written and pretty powerful. It’s a small book that packs a punch.
This is a super light read, I read it in one sitting. It’s interesting and affecting, four stars!
About Jacqueline Woodson
Jacqueline Woodson is the bestselling author of more than two dozen award-winning books for young adults, middle graders, and children, including the New York Times bestselling memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, which won the 2014 National Book Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor Award, an NAACP Image Award, and the Sibert Honor Award. Woodson was recently named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.