Three Girls from Bronzeville: A Uniquely American Memoir of Race, Fate, and Sisterhood

S. & S. Sept. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9781982107703. $26. MEMOIR
In this absorbing memoir, journalist and novelist Turner (An Eighth of August) presents a story of second chances: “Who gets them, who doesn’t, who makes the most of them.” Turner, her younger sister Kim, and her best friend Debra grew up in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, a center of Black business and culture. The three girls were close and spent time together exploring the neighborhood, finding treasures, and planning for their futures. As the girls grew up, their paths began to diverge; Debra moved away, Kim began skipping school, and Turner focused on academics. As Turner began her career in journalism and settled down with her family, Debra and Kim both struggled with addiction and experienced devastating life events. With sensitivity, Turner examines all three of their lives in an attempt to understand how three girls starting in a similar place ended up on varying life paths. The author’s engaging writing will keep readers turning the pages.
VERDICT Turner shares Debra’s and Kim’s stories with aplomb, celebrating the bright moments of their lives while honestly depicting their suffering. She has a stellar ability to present the personalities of her loved ones, especially the women in her life. This memoir is a compelling testament to the power of women’s relationships.
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