Redwood Court

Books on Tape. Feb. 2024. 9:17 hrs. ISBN 9780593795873. $76. F
One Black working-class family in Columbia, SC, achieves their American dream when they purchase a house during the 1960s. With hard work, the family expands and prospers. The second generation stays nearby as they grow up, marry, and have their own children. As the grandchildren come along, the house on Redwood Court becomes the family focal point for holidays, birthdays, and general gatherings. The family has strict rules of conduct and traditions that keep them close to each other and their community. Mika, the youngest grandchild, spends much time with her elders and is especially close to her grandfather. As Mika grows up in the 1990s, she notes the different ways in which the members of her family make their way in the world and learns lessons about love, loss, and responsibility. In her first full-length novel, poet Dameron (How God Ends Us) follows one family through the generations, thoughtfully situating the story within well-described historical contexts and laying bare the difficulties of living in a racially biased society. Alternating narration by a group of five talented actors provides various viewpoints. Ashley J. Hobbs, who narrates the part of Mika, is a standout.
VERDICT A heartwarming, kaleidoscopic portrait of a Black American family.
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