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Naima Coster Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Halsey Street (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
What's Mine and Yours (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of The One Books

Before Her (By: Jacqueline Woodson) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Parable (By: Jess Walter) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lila (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Wedding Thing (By: Shea Serrano) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Yes, And (By: Kristi Coulter) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Visitor (By: Dodai Stewart) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Speed Grieving (By: Allison Ellis) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Wild Tongues Can't Be Tamed(2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Naima Coster
Naima Coster is a fiction and memoir writer best known for her Halsey Street novel. This talented author’s work has been featured in Lit Hub, New York Times, Arts & Letters, The Rumpus, and Catapult, to mention but a few. She has also won numerous awards, including the Cosmonauts Avenue Nonfiction Prize in 2017. Coster has a background in creative writing, and this is evident throughout her work. She studied writing at Yale, Columbia University, and Fordham University and holds an MFA. Currently, Coster is a fiction editor with Kweli, and she also teaches at Wake Forest University.

Halsey Street
Halsey Street tells the story of a mother and her complicated relationship with her daughter. This story also covers the changes brought by gentrification in the narrator’s neighborhood in Brooklyn. Penelope Grand has accepted that her career as an artist has failed and moved back to Brooklyn. Her future is not going to be like she had anticipated, but Penelope has already made peace with this. She keeps herself busy taking care of her ailing father. Penelope would enjoy being home again, but her neighborhood is nothing like she remembered it. Old haunts have already been destroyed, and a wealthy white stranger had replaced every familiar face in Bed-Stuy.

This is not the only change affecting Penelope’s family. She comes home to discover that her mother, Mirella, had gone to reclaim her roots in the Dominican Republic. While it is clear that her mother’s decision took courage, Penelope thinks it is unforgivable, and the hatred she feels for her is unfathomable. How could Mirella leave her father just when he needed him most? Penelope only seems to understand her father, which often resulted in conflicts with her mom. Can mother and daughter ever see eye to eye? What is a mother to do when she is torn between choosing her happiness and her daughter?

Penelope finds an attic apartment at the Harpers, one of her affluent neighbors. Here, she starts to feel like she can enjoy some semblance of family and love. However, when she receives a postcard from her mother expressing her wish to reconnect with her daughter, an old wound is opened. Will Penelope make any effort to meet with her mother? What stands out in this book is how well the descriptions are done. You will feel like you are right there with Penelope, witnessing the changing neighborhood, breaking marriage, and the disintegrating mother-daughter relationship. The colors, favors, and feel of the Dominican Republic come to life through Mirella’s narration, and you cannot help but enjoy them together with Mirella.

Halsey Street is an engrossing read that shifts between two women’s perspectives. Mirella has a chance to win her daughter back while Penelope has to break free from the past and start life afresh. As these two women try to reconnect, secrets are revealed, and they both discover that they have to work on their complicated relationship before it is too late. Mirella and Penelope are complex characters with major flaws. While you may not like them as much at certain times, these flaws and their misunderstandings make them more realistic and relatable. Curious to see how the mother-daughter relationship goes? Read this intriguing story for this and more.

What’s Mine and Yours
What’s Mine and Yours is a captivating story on Race, social class, addiction, and relationships. This book is set in Piedmont, North Carolina, where the outrage is rising over the county’s initiative to take black high school students to the predominantly white region. Some people think that this move is long overdue, while others think there is nothing wrong with the way things have been where racial segregation is concerned. For two students, Gee and Noelle, this integration marks the beginning of events that will tie their families for generations.

For Jade, Gee’s ambitious mum, the integration is a welcome and overdue move. After suffering a harrowing loss, all this woman wants is to give her son all the skills he would need to survive and succeed in America as a Black man. Lacey May, Noelle’s mother, wants something different for her daughter. This mom wants her half-Latina daughters to identify as white just like her. She works hard to protect them from the same influence that pushed her into the arms of their unreliable father. Both mothers want the best for their children even though this means different things to them. Will these mothers succeed in raising their children the best way they know how? What happens when something interferes with their well-laid-out plans?

Gee and Noelle’s paths cross when they both join their school play. The play meant to bring new and old students together ends up deeply knotting Gee and Noelle’s families, and the messy ties will shape their adult lives and affect their families for generations. We see both mothers, determined to make a better life for their children, make hard choices that haunt them for many years. The author paints a clear picture of the unique nature of every family. She highlights the things that break them and those that bring them together. While this is a work of fiction, there is a lot to learn about Race, addiction, and relationships. It is also fun seeing how the different characters evolve over time.

What’s Mine and Yours is a sweeping novel on identity, Race, and its effects on American families and legacy. In the course of this story, love will be built and lost, hard choices will be made, and the past will keep haunting all parties involved. There is a lot going on here, but the story is so cleverly weaved that everything ties beautifully in the end. As the years go, the author moves you from North Carolina to Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Paris. The journey is quite adventurous, and it is hard not to get emotionally invested in the lives of all characters. If you love multi-generational family dramas, this book is for you. It is also a great book club collection.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Naima Coster

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