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What's Mine and Yours

What's Mine and Yours

by Naima Coster

Narrated by Bahni Turpin

Unabridged — 12 hours, 15 minutes

Naima Coster

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Overview

A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!

An instant New York Times bestseller!

A USA Today bestseller!

Named a Best Book of 2021 by Amazon ¿ Esquire ¿ Marie Claire ¿ Refinery29 ¿ Kirkus ¿ Redbook ¿ Ms. Magazine ¿ The Millions ¿ Undomesticated Magazine ¿ Paperback Paris

"A once-every-few-years reading experience."-Mary Beth Keane, New York Times bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes


"Coster portrays her characters' worlds with startling vitality. As the children fall in lust and love, grapple with angst and battle the tides of New South politics, Coster's writing shines"-New York Times Book Review

From the author of Halsey Street, a sweeping novel of legacy, identity, the American family-and the ways that race affects even our most intimate relationships.

A community in the Piedmont of North Carolina rises in outrage as a county initiative draws students from the largely Black east side of town into predominantly white high schools on the west. For two students, Gee and Noelle, the integration sets off a chain of events that will tie their two families together in unexpected ways over the next twenty years.

On one side of the integration debate is Jade, Gee's steely, ambitious mother. In the aftermath of a harrowing loss, she is determined to give her son the tools he'll need to survive in America as a sensitive, anxious, young Black man. On the other side is Noelle's headstrong mother, Lacey May, a white woman who refuses to see her half-Latina daughters as anything but white. She strives to protect them as she couldn't protect herself from the influence of their charming but unreliable father, Robbie.

When Gee and Noelle join the school play meant to bridge the divide between new and old students, their paths collide, and their two seemingly disconnected families begin to form deeply knotted, messy ties that will shape the trajectory of their adult lives. And their mothers-each determined to see her child inherit a better life-will make choices that will haunt them for decades to come.

As love is built and lost, and the past never too far behind, What's Mine and Yours is an expansive, vibrant tapestry that moves between the years, from the foothills of North Carolina, to Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Paris. It explores the unique organism that is every family: what breaks them apart and how they come back together.


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

01/11/2021

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.)

From the Publisher

At its heart, What’s Mine and Yours is a coming-of-age story—one that examines the unraveling of marriages, complexities of siblinghood and reckonings with parents… Coster portrays her characters’ worlds with startling vitality. As the children fall in lust and love, grapple with angst and battle the tides of New South politics, Coster’s writing shines."

New York Times Book Review

“The complex characters will stay with you—maybe even change you.”—People

“Coster’s remarkable characters, each one of them authentically flawed and gorgeously realized, propel this wise and loving story ever forward, making for a graceful meditation on family, inequality, and the ties that bind.”

Esquire

"Coster is an exacting observer but also an endlessly generous one… It’s the individual moments that are exquisite, each chapter a tiny snapshot of a whole world. Tender but—miraculously—never sentimental."—Kirkus (Starred Review)

"What's Mine and Yours is a once-every-few-years reading experience for me. I was completely seduced by the honesty of Coster's prose, the tenderness she has for her characters. To say Coster pulls off something special here is a massive understatement. I've placed this novel on a shelf among those most dear to me, and I imagine I'll return to it many, many times."—Mary Beth Keane, New York Times bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes

"Coster balances the tender and the sharp moments shared between families better than anyone else writing."—Elizabeth Acevedo, National Book Award winner of Poet X

What’s Mine and Yours is both intimate and sweeping: an exploration of many kinds of love, the repercussions of long ago decisions, and the burdens of personal and political history. I loved this novel.”—Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"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 Infinite Country

"Coster… depict[s the characters] complex situations and moral ambiguities with depth and compassion. Weaving numerous plot threads — miscarriages, abortions, divorces, brain tumors, benders—into an intricate tapestry, Coster shows, as one of her indelible minor characters declares, that 'It's only our life if we say so. Otherwise it belongs to them.'"—Minneapolis Star Tribune

"What’s Mine and Yours is a lyrical, universal story about home, reminiscent of the works of Jacqueline Woodson and Tayari Jones."—Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Rare is the book that manages to be both a finely wrought character study as well as a multi-family saga…but Naima Coster's new novel does just that — and more. Coster writes with a singular sensitivity and nuance."—Refinery29

What's Mine and Yours is powerful and unfailingly generous, a story of two families you won’t be able to forget. Marvelously profound and moving.”—R.O. Kwon author of The Incendiaries

"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, National Book Award finalist of The Leavers

"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

"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

"Naima Coster's What's Mine and Yours patiently and unerringly tracks the boundaries, unearths the secrets, and stares unblinkingly at what's essential to knowing oneself and the larger histories we're forced to navigate. A beautifully-wrought investigation of family, race, inheritance, and belonging."—Cristina García, author of Here in Berlin and Dreaming in Cuban

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

"Through its flawed and flawlessly crafted ensemble cast, Naima Coster's What's Mine and Yours shows us how a single tragedy ripples through two families and a community already on the edge. Crisscrossing time, states, and the Atlantic Ocean, Coster explores the complexities of marriage, race, and family ties in this engrossing and deftly woven novel."—Melissa Rivero, author of The Affairs of the Falcóns

"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

"Naima Coster is definitely a writer to watch. Her clear-eyed writing interrogates race, class, and family in a refreshing and thoroughly engaging way. A lovely and thoughtful book."—Jacqueline Woodson, author of Red at the Bone and National Book Award winner (praise for Halsey Street)

“Coster’s remarkable characters, each one of them authentically flawed and gorgeously realized, propel this wise and loving story ever forward, making for a graceful meditation on family, inequality, and the ties that bind.”—Redbook

Library Journal - Audio

08/01/2021

Coster's (Halsey Street) North Carolina-set novel starts in 1992, when Gee, a six-year-old Black boy, witnesses the brutal murder of his stepfather Ray, who was intervening in an altercation to defend Gee and Gee's mother Jade. The plot moves jerkily back and forth in time, viewpoint, and locale. It jumps forward to Gee's enrollment in a newly (and contentiously) integrated high school, where he and Jade meet the Colombian American Ventura family: mother Lacey May, a brash and unreasonable woman; her drug-addicted husband Robbie; and their three daughters. When Noelle Ventura and Gee participate in the school play, the town's integration debate heats up. There are some winning moments, such as when Diane Ventura comes out and marries her girlfriend; however, Lacey May's prolonged cancer battle is more tedious than distressing. Narrator Bahni Turpin gallantly and flawlessly presents the text and differentiates the huge cast of characters, with varied personalities and accents. Her best portrayals are Gee at every age, and kindhearted Linette, a minor character who lovingly nurtures Gee when he most needs it. VERDICT Recommend to listeners who enjoy family sagas.—Susan G. Baird, formerly at Oak Lawn P.L., IL

Library Journal

02/01/2021

Set in an unnamed town in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, this work repeats some characteristics and themes of Coster's successful debut novel, Halsey Street. Neither book has a strictly linear narrative, and both stories span several decades, with the narrative shared among several characters. Here, the stories are split between two families whose lives intersect dramatically when the county school system decides to integrate a predominantly white school. The repercussions of this action reverberate for both families as they encounter obstacles and are beset by tragedies. Each family is led by a strong woman struggling to protect her children, and even as the two women face off on opposite sides of the integration debate, their children—Gee, a sensitive young Black man, and Noelle, a headstrong young woman—are drawn together and thus draw together their families. VERDICT Deploying multiple voices does diminish the depth of character development, but Coster's cast of characters is unique, creating a tapestry that allows the various individuals to explore a past they may try to escape but can't leave behind completely. Despite its sprawling time line and multiple perspectives, the novel remains an intimate portrait of families shaped by love, motherhood, race, and class.—Faye Chadwell, Oregon State Univ., Corvallis

Kirkus Reviews

★ 2020-12-15
Coster, a Kirkus Prize finalist for Halsey Street (2018), returns with an intergenerational saga of two North Carolina families inextricably connected by trauma and love.

In a city in the Piedmont in the fall of 1992, Ray is baking croissants, preparing for the day that's supposed to change his life: A reporter is coming to profile the cafe he co-founded that has since become “his everything.” If business picks up afterward, he already has a list of things he’ll do. Buy his girlfriend, Jade, a ring and marry her. Buy Jade’s 6-year-old son, Gee—who is, for all practical purposes, also his son now—a chest of drawers. Take them on a trip. None of it will happen: That afternoon, Ray is shot and killed. Jade’s cousin owed money to a guy; Ray was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Then Coster skips forward a few years, to the outskirts of that city, where a woman named Lacey May Ventura is trying to raise three daughters on no money while her troubled husband is in prison; an unrelated story, on the surface, a single mother making compromises to get by. The story of the past, though, is then interrupted by dispatches from the present: In the Atlanta suburbs, Noelle, the oldest of the Ventura girls, is now a theater director in a disintegrating marriage. Jumping backward and forward in time and bouncing between families, Coster weaves together a gripping portrait of generational pain. But the details of her plot—carefully constructed, if not especially subtle—pale in comparison to her characters, who are startling in their quiet humanity. Coster is an exacting observer but also an endlessly generous one, approaching her cast with a sharp eye and deep warmth. The overlapping pieces fit together, of course, but it’s the individual moments that are exquisite, each chapter a tiny snapshot of a whole world.

Tender but—miraculously—never sentimental.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940177328287
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Publication date: 04/02/2021
Edition description: Unabridged

Customer Reviews