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Halsey Street af Naima Coster
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Halsey Street (udgave 2018)

af Naima Coster (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2009106,398 (3.81)36
Penelope Grand has scrapped her failed career as an artist in Pittsburgh and moved back to Brooklyn to keep an eye on her ailing father. She's accepted that her future won't be what she'd dreamed, but now, as gentrification has completely reshaped her old neighborhood, even her past is unrecognizable. Old haunts have been razed, and wealthy white strangers have replaced every familiar face in Bed-Stuy. Even her mother, Mirella, has abandoned the family to reclaim her roots in the Dominican Republic. That took courage. It's also unforgivable. When Penelope moves into the attic apartment of the affluent Harpers, she thinks she's found a semblance of family, and maybe even love. But her world is upended again when she receives a postcard from Mirella asking for reconciliation. As old wounds are reopened, and secrets revealed, a journey across an ocean of sacrifice and self-discovery begins.… (mere)
Medlem:Burkha47
Titel:Halsey Street
Forfattere:Naima Coster (Forfatter)
Info:Little A (2018), Edition: Reprint, 335 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Halsey Street af Naima Coster

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» Se også 36 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 9 (næste | vis alle)
Penelope Grand, an unfulfilled artist, is living in Pittsburgh when she is forced to return NYC where her father has had an accident. Her mother, with whom she has a non-existent relationship, has left and moved back to her native Dominican Republic, leaving Penelope's father on his own. This is a book about mothers and daughters and their often contentious relationships. It's also about finding your place in the world and gentrification of NYC neighborhoods and its effect on the old timers who've lived their lives and now don't know if they still have a home. Very well written and I look forward to Coster's new book due out this year. ( )
  brenzi | Feb 11, 2021 |
#ReadingBlackout ( )
  sunshine608 | Feb 2, 2021 |
Finding where you belong isn’t easy when life around you, changes drastically in every way.

Plot Summary - In this book, the main character Penelope, is an art school drop-out in her mid-twenties who has yet to truly find herself. She frequently uses alcohol to self medicate and is no stranger to one night stands. She is a young woman who is living by her own rules, but lacks direction and seems to be a bit depressed. After living on her own for seven years in Pittsburgh, she finds herself being pulled back to her childhood community in Brooklyn after her father has an accident and requires her help. When Penelope returns to Bedford-Stuyvesant, she feels as if she is an outsider. The gentrification of the area she once lived in, has contributed to her demeanor. Her father was once the owner of a very successful neighborhood record store, but as the area’s demographics began to change, he was forced out of the business. It was around this time that Penelope’s mother, feeling unappreciated and jaded, also left for her native Dominican Republic after years of cleaning the “rich white people’s homes”. This story goes back and forth between Penelope’s situation and perspectives and her mother, Mirella’s.

Personal Response: The author did a wonderful job of developing characters in this story who were relatable, yet not predictable. She paints Penelope as a free-spirited young lady who hasn’t “found herself” yet and wants to separate from the people and places of her past. She is also angry about much of what she cannot change (her mom leaving her father, her father allowing her to leave without a fight, and the gentrification of her neighborhood that makes it unfamiliar). As she moves from one life situation to the next, her anger sometimes manifests itself in poor decision making. This makes for an intriguing storyline that keeps the reader hooked.

Curricular Connections: This story revolves around a Dominican-American family in New York. Conversations should occur about gentrification and how change can push us to make directions that have consequences we might not realize until it’s too late. ( )
  Valekap | Oct 27, 2019 |
Penelope Grand was raised in an apartment on Halsey Street. She escaped, briefly, for a year at RISD and then five years in Pittsburgh, working as a bartender and sometimes a substitute art teacher, but when her father has an accident, she returns home to take care of him - her mother has left, returning to the Dominican Republic, where she was born. Penelope feels that her life has stalled: she is angry at her mother for leaving, angry at her father for refusing to do the physical therapy exercises and for drinking, angry at the way the neighborhood has changed - her father's record store was finally forced to close as rents rose.

Penelope's parents are angry, too: her father mourns the loss of his store and his community and his physical ability. Her mother, Mirella (who narrates a good chunk of the book, but it still seems like Penelope's story primarily), is angry that Ralph devoted his whole life to the store instead of her and his family; she's also angry at her own parents (her father died when she was young, and her mother moved them from Santiago back to the campo).

Reconciliation comes haltingly when it comes at all, and sometimes too late. Sub-plots include Penelope's relationship with her landlady's family and her friendship-turned-more with a local bartender, Jon.

Quotes

"It's a shame that making room for white folks mean the the rest of us have to go. But it's always been that way, hasn't it?" (Ralph to Penelope, 71)

Why did women have children they would someday hate? (130)

This is what it meant to be Dominican - to be bound for life one moment, and the next, left for dead on the road. (158)

"Marcus and I have been together long enough that we know the things we can share and the things that we can't. Marriage is like that.
...
You can create the life you want." (Samantha to Penelope, 179)

"You know, no one ever believes old men when we say how good our lives were then. But they believe us when we say how bad our lives are now." (Ralph to Penelope, 192)

She had lost her own family and now had the theater of another instead. (211)

...it seemed terrible to Penelope that a day like this could seem so pretty and benign as to trick you into believing this was a good place to live, that every instant, someone in this city wasn't losing something, that bad news couldn't come anytime anywhere, that every day might be the worst day. (249)

Every block in Bed-Stuy was its own universe, the changes coming at a distinct pace on every street, but Ralph didn't see the difference. Everyone was leaving. Everyone was gone. Nothing was the same. (267)

If she could have written more things she would have: how we do things we do not mean; we do evil things; if we see an open door, we will dart through it, before we lose our guts, no matter who is left behind, we will move at the chance to be free. (Mirella, 281)

"When she was alive, at least there was a chance. Even if most of the time we don't really know how to change. We can't hardly figure out how to love right. But there was hope. Now....Nothing is as final as death." (Ralph, 319) ( )
1 stem JennyArch | Aug 13, 2018 |
Penelope is a frustrated artist and heavy-drinking bartender who reluctantly returns to Brooklyn in order to care for her ailing father. Doing so means that Penelope has to confront many things she'd rather not: gentrification and racism, her self-sabotage as an artist, her troubled relationship with her mother. There's no easy moralising here, with Naima Coster resisting the urge to give the reader either an uplifting ending or a remorselessly bleak one. It's possible that her characters—frustrating, prickly, understandable—will be able to make some changes in their lives, while remaining determinedly unchanged in others. Things may get better; they may be bad in different ways. The lack of neat closure in Halsey Street rings truer than such a tactic does in many other novels because it is the result of Coster's insistent, careful observation of how familial problems can fester. A very strong debut. ( )
  siriaeve | Aug 10, 2018 |
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Penelope Grand has scrapped her failed career as an artist in Pittsburgh and moved back to Brooklyn to keep an eye on her ailing father. She's accepted that her future won't be what she'd dreamed, but now, as gentrification has completely reshaped her old neighborhood, even her past is unrecognizable. Old haunts have been razed, and wealthy white strangers have replaced every familiar face in Bed-Stuy. Even her mother, Mirella, has abandoned the family to reclaim her roots in the Dominican Republic. That took courage. It's also unforgivable. When Penelope moves into the attic apartment of the affluent Harpers, she thinks she's found a semblance of family, and maybe even love. But her world is upended again when she receives a postcard from Mirella asking for reconciliation. As old wounds are reopened, and secrets revealed, a journey across an ocean of sacrifice and self-discovery begins.

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