What’s Mine and Yours

Hachette Audio. Mar. 2021. 12:15 hrs. ISBN 9781549109980. $26. F
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.
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