Another Brooklyn

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline WoodsonAnother Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
Published by HarperCollins on August 9th 2016
Source: Publisher
Pages: 192
Buy from IndieBound

 

When she returns to New York City for her father’s funeral and runs into a friend from childhood, August is flooded with memories of 1970’s Brooklyn. As a child, her family is torn apart and uprooted from Tennessee to New York, forcing eight year-old August to adjust. Another Brooklyn follows August as she grows through the unique struggles of the time period, the challenges of her neighborhood, and the battle of simply being a teenage girl.

Just as Woodson’s previous work, the National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming, was a memoir in verse, Another Brooklyn is a novel born of poetry. The novel is straightforward, but not linear; told in jotted down snippets that move the story forward without relying on the back and forth of dialogue. Instead of a clear recollection we get hazy flashbacks, which are often the true format of teenage years.

“I know now that what is tragic isn’t the moment. It is the memory.”

While part of me wished for more self-examination from adult August, the novel centers itself on the awareness of memories rather than their deconstruction. August thumbs through her childhood, noting the moments that built and broke and formed her, without necessarily demanding answers from them. That doesn’t mean the novel lacks depth, it just comes in unexpected places. Despite the tragedy in its pages, Another Brooklyn chooses to look forward and find hope in both the present and the moments to come.

  • JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing

    “A novel born of poetry” sounds intriguing…
    I thought Brown Girl Dreaming was wonderful and plan to read this at some point.

    • It’s not written in verse, but definitely has a similar feel – I think most people who loved Brown Girl Dreaming will love this one, too!

  • I really enjoyed this one. I loved the writing and how it focused on memory. Some parts really took my breath away. Definitely makes me look forward to more of Woodson’s work.

    • Her writing is so beautiful and she’s able to do so many different types of things – it’s pretty incredible!

  • I’m really hoping my hold at the library (I’m number 4, now!) will release soon for this one. It is just so appealing!

  • Hm, but, I like the back and forth of dialogue. There’s none at all? Or just not much?

  • I find it interesting that August’s memories aren’t there to be analyzed or to learn a lesson, but to be acknowledged as a part of her. I look forward to reading this book because I really loved Brown Girl Dreaming.

    • I loved Brown Girl Dreaming, too, and this was such a great companion read – very similar in many ways, but totally unique at the same time.

  • Kailana

    I am hoping to get to this, but I was thinking the audio and it is so short that I am resistant to use an Audible credit on it… so, I have no idea when I will read it.

  • Susie | Novel Visits

    Thanks for the insightful review. I’ve been a little on the fence about this one and am now a bit more intrigued.