What’s Mine and Yours

Naima Coster. Grand Central, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5387-0234-5
Coster (Halsey Street) returns with a rich if diffuse story of loss, betrayal, and systemic racism, centered on two families spanning the 1990s to the present, set mainly in the Piedmont area of North Carolina. In 1992, six-year-old Gee’s, father, Ray, gets killed in front of him. Noelle Ventura grows up on the other side of town, and though her father, Robbie, is from Colombia, she passes for white. In 2002, the two families intersect when Gee, who is Black, is bussed to Noelle’s high school. Her white mother, Lacey May, who struggled to support three children while Robbie was in jail, joins a group of parents who protest the school’s integration, a racist position that forces Noelle to choose between Lacey May and her growing love for Gee. In a series of abrupt shifts, Coster portrays Noelle as a housewife in 2018 Atlanta, and her Black husband, Nelson, who works as a photographer in 2018 Paris and sleeps with a white woman. In 2018, Lacey May’s daughters reluctantly return home to visit after hearing she has cancer, setting off a series of confrontations and reconciliations. While Coster’s exploration of race is powerful, the scattered plotting dampens the impact of the various stories. It’s undoubtedly ambitious, but it doesn’t hang together. Agent: Keene Benton, Kristyn, ICM Partners. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 12/21/2020
Release date: 03/02/2021
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-0998-0
Library Binding - 978-1-4328-8978-4
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