What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster
Genre: Coming-of-age story, Contemporary literature, Domestic Fiction
Length: 352 pages
First Published: March 2, 2021
When a county initiative in the Piedmont of North Carolina forces the students at a mostly black public school on the east side to move across town to a nearly all-white high school on the west, the community rises in outrage. For two students, quiet and aloof Gee and headstrong Noelle, these divisions will extend far beyond their schooling. As their paths collide and overlap over the course of thirty years, their two seemingly disconnected families begin to form deeply knotted, messy ties that shape the trajectory of their lives.
On one side of the school integration debate is Jade, Gee’s steely, single, black mother, grieving for her murdered partner, and determined for her son to have the best chance at a better life. On the other, is Noelle’s enterprising mother, Lacey May, who refuses to see her half-Latina daughters as anything but white. The choices these mothers make will resound for years to come. And twenty years later, when Lacey’s daughters return home to visit her in hospital, they’re forced to confront the ways their parents’ decisions continue to affect the life they live and the people they love.
WHAT’S MINE AND YOURS is a sweeping, rich tapestry of familial bond and identity, and a sharp, poignant look at the ways race affects even the closest of relationships. This is not just one love story, but many: It’s the all-consuming volatile passion of young lovers and the quieter comfort of steady companionship; it’s the often tenuous but unbreakable bond between siblings; and it’s the unconditional love that runs between parent and child and encompasses adoration, contempt and forgiveness. With gorgeous prose, Naima Coster explores the unique organism that is every family: what breaks them apart and how they come back together.
About Naima Coster
Naima’s stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Kweli, The Paris Review Daily, The Cut, The Sunday Times, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. In 2020, she received the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” honor. She lives in Brooklyn with her family. Visit the author’s website→