Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

another-brooklynThe book

Another Brooklyn is about August, who grew up in Brooklyn in the 1970s and then moved to Rhode Island to go to college. She goes back to Brooklyn for her father’s funeral and she runs into an old friend and they don’t actually speak, but it makes her remember her childhood in Brooklyn and the book is basically her Brooklyn childhood, and her friendships and her relationship with her brother and father.

Thoughts

This was really beautiful. I have also read Brown Girl Dreaming by Woodson, and it’s basically about her real life childhood, and it’s written as poetry. And her sort of poetic writing style is also a big part of this novel. It’s not written as poetry, but it feels poetic.

I loved her sort of stream of consciousness writing. It’s not actual stream of consciousness, it just feels a bit like her story just poured out of her, and it was beautiful.

I really loved the story of August and her friends. It was a beautiful story of four fierce black girls growing up in Brooklyn together and everything that went wrong, and everything that went well. It was fascinating to see the different ways that people are raised, and that being black in Brooklyn in the 70s isn’t a monolith. August is quite poor, she has what she needs, but never has all new clothes, and while she’s happy she knows she’s poor. She lives with her father and brother because something happened to her mother and August left Tennessee with her brother and dad to her dad’s old hometown. August and her brother are basically released into the street and they are left to themselves. In another family the girls are kept on a tight leash, live in a traditional family and are expected to be perfect and are always in new clothes and go to private school.

I loved how it was written. It was always hinting to what happens in the future. It’s clear that one of the girls did something that made her family disappointed and also hurt August somehow. And I liked that writing style. It built a lot of tension, and even though I guessed what it was it was climactic and hurt when the explanation came.

This is a really small thing, but adult August is an anthropologist who studies death and death rituals, and I really loved that. Because I love anthropology, and I’m fascinated by death rituals, because of course I am. The book is also a lot about death. And it is death and the confusion around death through the eyes of a child, who doesn’t understand everything that isn’t going on. I thought it was beautiful.

Finally

I thought this was beautiful, I really liked it. I love the writing style and the poetry of the writing style. It was wonderful.

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