What's Mine and Yours

What's Mine and Yours
Naima Coster
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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. WHAT' S MINE AND YOURS is a sweeping, rich tapestry of familial bond and identity, and a sharp, poignant look at the ways race affects even the closest of relationships. This is not just one love story, but many: It' s the all-consuming volatile passion of young lovers and the quieter comfort of steady companionship; it' s the often tenuous but unbreakable bond between siblings; and it' s the unconditional love that runs between parent and child and encompasses adoration, contempt and forgiveness. With gorgeous prose, Naima Coster explores the unique organism that is every family: what breaks them apart and how they come back together.
What' s Mine and Yours is a book about parents who try and fail and then try again. An extraordinary cast of characters, nuanced and full of insight. It' s about children who hold their loved ones accountable. It reveals in absolutely engrossing and tension-filled prose how a tragedy haunts a family. Coster is a master storyteller through and through. Read this book. * Angie Cruz, author of Dominicana * Naima Coster is definitely a writer to watch. Her clear-eyed writing interrogates race, class, and family in a refreshing and thoroughly engaging way. * Jacqueline Woodson, author of Red at the Bone * Naima Coster' s What' s Mine and Yours moves from moment to moment of startling grace. This expansive, generous novel tackles big themes - systemic racism, the reverberations of gun violence, class inequity - but it always feels thrillingly personal. Multiple times, it moved me to tears. An exquisite and vital portrait of family, place, and the bonds that transform our lives, What' s Mine and Yours is more than a beautiful read - it' s an essential one, destined to be talked about for years to come as a book that saw the world and spoke the truth with tenderness, wisdom, and love. * Julie Buntin, author of Marlena * Naima Coster weaves a beautiful tapestry of voices together in What' s Mine and Yours. This is a sprawling, moving narrative about the messiness of love and family, mothering, race, and community. Here we follow two families connected by place and circumstance as they try to free themselves of those bonds. The result? Rich, complex individual stories that merge to form a satisfying, startling end. * Crystal Hana Kim, Author of If You Leave Me * Moving fluidly between perspectives and time, What' s Mine and Yours is a mesmerizing story of two families brought together through choice and circumstance in one North Carolina town. Naima Coster is a storyteller of astounding clarity and compassion. * LISA KO, author of National Book Award finalist The Leavers * What' s Mine And Yours is a powerful and timely family saga about the complex webs forged by love and tragedy - gripping, generous, and deeply felt. It' s a moving examination of what we inherit, and what it means to love both wholeheartedly and imperfectly. This is a book, in other words, for anyone who' s ever had a family. * RACHEL KHONG, author of Goodbye, Vitamin * What' s Mine and Yours explodes with love, passion, and their piercing aftermath. Naima Coster renders two unforgettable families, their labyrinthine bonds and heartaches, with propulsive and startling clarity. This is a novel of scorching beauty. * PATRICIA ENGEL, author of The Veins of the Ocean *
Naima Coster lives in Brooklyn. She has an MA in English from Fordham University and an MFA from Columbia University. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Guernica and The Sunday Times, among others. She was awarded the Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize from the Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival for her personal essay "Remembering When Brooklyn Was Mine" in The New York Times. Her debut Halsey Street was a Finalist for the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Fiction and longlisted for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award.