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From the author of Halsey Street, a sweeping novel of legacy, identity, the American family-and the ways that race affects even our most intimate relationships. A community in the Piedmont of North Carolina rises in outrage as a county initiative draws students from the largely Black east side of town into predominantly white high schools on the west. For two students, Gee From the author of Halsey Street, a sweeping novel of legacy, identity, the American family-and the ways that race affects even our most intimate relationships. A community in the Piedmont of North Carolina rises in outrage as a county initiative draws students from the largely Black east side of town into predominantly white high schools on the west. For two students, Gee and Noelle, the integration sets off a chain of events that will tie their two families together in unexpected ways over the span of the next twenty years. On one side of the integration debate is Jade, Gee's steely, ambitious mother. In the aftermath of a harrowing loss, she is determined to give her son the tools he'll need to survive in America as a sensitive, anxious, young Black man. On the other side is Noelle's headstrong mother, Lacey May, a white woman who refuses to see her half-Latina daughters as anything but white. She strives to protect them as she couldn't protect herself from the influence of their charming but unreliable father, Robbie. When Gee and Noelle join the school play meant to bridge the divide between new and old students, their paths collide, and their two seemingly disconnected families begin to form deeply knotted, messy ties that will shape the trajectory of their adult lives. And their mothers-each determined to see her child inherit a better life-will make choices that will haunt them for decades to come. As love is built and lost, and the past never too far behind, What's Mine and Yours is an expansive, vibrant tapestry that moves between the years, from the foothills of North Carolina, to Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Paris. It explores the unique organism that is every family: what breaks them apart and how they come back together.


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From the author of Halsey Street, a sweeping novel of legacy, identity, the American family-and the ways that race affects even our most intimate relationships. A community in the Piedmont of North Carolina rises in outrage as a county initiative draws students from the largely Black east side of town into predominantly white high schools on the west. For two students, Gee From the author of Halsey Street, a sweeping novel of legacy, identity, the American family-and the ways that race affects even our most intimate relationships. A community in the Piedmont of North Carolina rises in outrage as a county initiative draws students from the largely Black east side of town into predominantly white high schools on the west. For two students, Gee and Noelle, the integration sets off a chain of events that will tie their two families together in unexpected ways over the span of the next twenty years. On one side of the integration debate is Jade, Gee's steely, ambitious mother. In the aftermath of a harrowing loss, she is determined to give her son the tools he'll need to survive in America as a sensitive, anxious, young Black man. On the other side is Noelle's headstrong mother, Lacey May, a white woman who refuses to see her half-Latina daughters as anything but white. She strives to protect them as she couldn't protect herself from the influence of their charming but unreliable father, Robbie. When Gee and Noelle join the school play meant to bridge the divide between new and old students, their paths collide, and their two seemingly disconnected families begin to form deeply knotted, messy ties that will shape the trajectory of their adult lives. And their mothers-each determined to see her child inherit a better life-will make choices that will haunt them for decades to come. As love is built and lost, and the past never too far behind, What's Mine and Yours is an expansive, vibrant tapestry that moves between the years, from the foothills of North Carolina, to Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Paris. It explores the unique organism that is every family: what breaks them apart and how they come back together.

30 review for What's Mine and Yours

  1. 4 out of 5

    Katie B

    There's so much going on in this novel that each reader has the potential to take away something different from the story. Race, addiction, social class, and relationships are just some of the subjects the author tackles in this book. It didn't take long for me to feel thoroughly engrossed in the characters' lives. Highly recommend checking this one out if you enjoy multi-generational family dramas. Honestly, other than having a general idea of some of the topics explored in the story, you really There's so much going on in this novel that each reader has the potential to take away something different from the story. Race, addiction, social class, and relationships are just some of the subjects the author tackles in this book. It didn't take long for me to feel thoroughly engrossed in the characters' lives. Highly recommend checking this one out if you enjoy multi-generational family dramas. Honestly, other than having a general idea of some of the topics explored in the story, you really don't need to know too much before diving right in. To cover the basics though, the setting is Piedmont, North Carolina and takes place over the course of a few decades. Some of the characters include Gee, a young Black male being raised by his mother, Jade, and Lacey May, a white woman raising her half-Latina daughters. The publisher synopsis mentions a school integration plot and while it certainly plays a key role, it is not the bulk of the story. The author takes her time developing the characters, which is a good thing, before revealing how everything ties into one another. I'm not saying the synopsis is misleading, but judging by a few other reviews, some of us readers were surprised it was pretty far along in the book before you even get to the school stuff. I did have a minor problem with the story as I feel Lacey May was not a fully developed character. However, this is one of the reasons why I think this novel would make a great book club selection as there are so many things to discuss. I might completely change my mind after hearing other readers' thoughts about the character. Perhaps the groundwork was laid in subtle ways throughout the story as to some of her opinions. If it was, it went completely went over my head and instead it seemed like it came out of left field. But maybe that's more realistic as sometimes you are caught completely off-guard when learning someone's viewpoint. I am thankful I had the opportunity to read this one as I can't stop thinking about the characters. I'm not sure if this is an unpopular opinion but I loved how one particular storyline was wrapped up as it felt true to life. (Without giving anything away, it involved Noelle.) I won an advance copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. All thoughts expressed are my honest opinion.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mary Keane

    This novel is a masterpiece. I loved it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Hager

    “What’s Mine and Yours” by Naima Coster is a sweeping, fresh new novel. It is the story of two American families, specifically two mothers, each fighting for a better future for their kids. As a mother myself, I related to moms Lacey May and Jade’s fierce love for their children even when they made mistakes. Nobody understands us like our families, even when imperfect. The story is epic in scope. It is about understanding the demons and the hardships that come before us and how they affect our l “What’s Mine and Yours” by Naima Coster is a sweeping, fresh new novel. It is the story of two American families, specifically two mothers, each fighting for a better future for their kids. As a mother myself, I related to moms Lacey May and Jade’s fierce love for their children even when they made mistakes. Nobody understands us like our families, even when imperfect. The story is epic in scope. It is about understanding the demons and the hardships that come before us and how they affect our lives. It will spark conversations around race, identity and what it means to belong in our families, schools and communities while racial differences, misunderstandings and personal tragedies create chasms between us. Click here to get your copy today!

  4. 5 out of 5

    BookOfCinz

    I think I will need to re-read this book one more time, just to make sure my review is correct. The writing is amazing! Having read Coster's previous book, I can tell you her writing aged beautifully. I think I will need to re-read this book one more time, just to make sure my review is correct. The writing is amazing! Having read Coster's previous book, I can tell you her writing aged beautifully.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Traci at The Stacks

    A family drama type story with intersecting characters over 30 years. Overall very solid. The book hooked me from the start (though I lost steam 60% in) and I was interested in most of the characters. It’s a lot of people doing their best through life and dealing with things like addiction, grief, incarceration, fucked up family. Very solid but didn’t quiet pull it off for me it got cliched and predictable by the end. It’s a good book, easy and enjoyable to read, but it didn’t stick the landing.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cody | CodysBookshelf

    Oh, I wanted to like this. Giving it such a low rating pains me. Recommended for fans of Ask Again, Yes and A Good Neighborhood—books I love, both—this is a multi-generational contemporary story that covers race and racism, family, love, class, consequences. I have to be honest: this book is a structural mess. The synopsis makes a point of the local high school opening up to poorer students from the “wrong side of the tracks” so to speak, but this plot-point doesn’t come into play until the 33% Oh, I wanted to like this. Giving it such a low rating pains me. Recommended for fans of Ask Again, Yes and A Good Neighborhood—books I love, both—this is a multi-generational contemporary story that covers race and racism, family, love, class, consequences. I have to be honest: this book is a structural mess. The synopsis makes a point of the local high school opening up to poorer students from the “wrong side of the tracks” so to speak, but this plot-point doesn’t come into play until the 33% mark. A THIRD of the way. That third is spent messily setting up these characters’ (oh-so many characters, too) predicaments and dramas in a few different eras. Most of the characters don’t even interact with each other until the 70% mark. Seriously. Most of this book feels like unrelated, inconsequential side-stories featuring characters I simply never grew to care about. Aside from Gee: I cared about Gee. We meet him in the first chapter, as a child, and it’s damn unfortunate he’s not given more time to shine. Instead the reader is treated to the nearly insufferable woes of Lisa-May and her daughters, all of them pretty damn unlikable and certainly not sympathetic. Gee is the only reason this book is getting 2 stars from me, instead of 1. I almost feel like this book tries to do too much, and it’s just not long enough (not that I’d want it to be any longer: God no!) We get the scant story promised in the synopsis, the school letting in poor and (mostly) latinx students, and the tensions that causes, but there are also affairs, and a character trying to make it in Hollywood, and another character concealing her lesbian relationship, and another character fighting cancer. Etc. None of it ever comes together in any cohesive way. This book is getting fantastic reviews, and I’m sure it’ll be quite popular upon its release. I usually love books like this, but this one just didn’t hit the mark. At all. They can’t all be winners, but this didn’t come close. Alas. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for letting me review this early.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Audiobook.... read by the great Bahni Turpin “ This novel has a significant amount of empathy for all its characters, even the ones that are difficult to like or you disagree with their world view”. I couldn’t say it better.... and there were definitely a couple with characters I didn’t like.... until my own empathy expanded. I absolutely loved watching the characters change over time. This was a terrific novel - originally inspired by the reporting of Nikole Hannah-Jones......who covered an int Audiobook.... read by the great Bahni Turpin “ This novel has a significant amount of empathy for all its characters, even the ones that are difficult to like or you disagree with their world view”. I couldn’t say it better.... and there were definitely a couple with characters I didn’t like.... until my own empathy expanded. I absolutely loved watching the characters change over time. This was a terrific novel - originally inspired by the reporting of Nikole Hannah-Jones......who covered an integration program in Missouri — White parents were opposing the admission black students. A look at the public schools —along with bullying, marriage, divorce, miscarriage,, drug abuse, LBGTQIA, prejudice, racism, family struggles. sibling rivalry, community, theater, shop talk, friendships, love, life, redemption........etc. ITS ALL HERE.... packaged beautifully and soulfully! Set in Piedmont, North Carolina... this novel takes place over several decades. 4.5 stars.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    Calling it now - this one is going to be popular when it debuts in March 2021 (for good reason!) What's Mine and Yours features multiple POVs spanning the early 90s to the present. We're introduced to two families in the Piedmont area of North Carolina and we subtly see how gentrification, class, and race impact the courses of their lives. At its heart, it's a story about family, and it's not short on family drama. Loved Naima Coster's writing style and loved how quickly the story flowed thanks t Calling it now - this one is going to be popular when it debuts in March 2021 (for good reason!) What's Mine and Yours features multiple POVs spanning the early 90s to the present. We're introduced to two families in the Piedmont area of North Carolina and we subtly see how gentrification, class, and race impact the courses of their lives. At its heart, it's a story about family, and it's not short on family drama. Loved Naima Coster's writing style and loved how quickly the story flowed thanks to the switching perspectives. A solid novel I'd definitely recommend. Thanks Grand Central Publishing and Netgalley for the opportunity to review early in exchange for an honest review!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    I loved reading this book for the beauty of the story and the writer's skill. It's wonderful to read a novel about people of color that reads like real people with flaws (not magical like Secret Life of Bees) and who don't get saved by someone white (like The Help, ugh). Beyond those, I respect this book for its universality: the fierceness and struggles of parental love, that constant fear of failure. When Lacey May has to choose between being right and having her daughter with her, that's a st I loved reading this book for the beauty of the story and the writer's skill. It's wonderful to read a novel about people of color that reads like real people with flaws (not magical like Secret Life of Bees) and who don't get saved by someone white (like The Help, ugh). Beyond those, I respect this book for its universality: the fierceness and struggles of parental love, that constant fear of failure. When Lacey May has to choose between being right and having her daughter with her, that's a struggle every parent has faced. Jade both resenting Gee yet loving him wholly was spot on. Just a great book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Geraldine (geraldinereads)

    This book is about two families: Jade, Ray, Gee and Lacey Mae, Noelle, Margarita, and Diane. I don't want to give away too much else because this is the type of book where it's better to go in not knowing anything else besides who the main characters are. I had some trouble getting into the story in the beginning because the timelines were hard to follow. I was so close to DNFing this one, but I'm so glad I didn't! If you're having a hard time, wait until you're about 25% into the book. Things re This book is about two families: Jade, Ray, Gee and Lacey Mae, Noelle, Margarita, and Diane. I don't want to give away too much else because this is the type of book where it's better to go in not knowing anything else besides who the main characters are. I had some trouble getting into the story in the beginning because the timelines were hard to follow. I was so close to DNFing this one, but I'm so glad I didn't! If you're having a hard time, wait until you're about 25% into the book. Things really pick up around that point, and I couldn't put it down after that. The end was wrapped up too quickly for me, but overall, it was a great read. I thought the story was going to cover the school integration more and I thought the story would mainly be about Gee and Noelle based on what I read in the synopsis. We definitely see a lot of Lacey Mae and her three daughters as there are alternating chapters between the two families. We do see both families' stories intertwining with one another throughout the book. I loved how this book covered so much. It covered everything from race, gentrification, class, love, addiction, family, and interracial relationships. I definitely think this book was worth the read and I recommend giving it a try! Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the e-arc!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    My review for the Minneapolis Star Tribune: https://www.startribune.com/review-wh... It's a truism that any writer who has survived their childhood has enough material to last for the rest of their days. In her latest novel, "What's Mine and Yours," Naima Coster explores how the incidents of anyone's childhood stand both to propel and to bind them for the remainder of their lives, the consequences of early happenstances, griefs and betrayals kicking off a course that perhaps no individual can ful My review for the Minneapolis Star Tribune: https://www.startribune.com/review-wh... It's a truism that any writer who has survived their childhood has enough material to last for the rest of their days. In her latest novel, "What's Mine and Yours," Naima Coster explores how the incidents of anyone's childhood stand both to propel and to bind them for the remainder of their lives, the consequences of early happenstances, griefs and betrayals kicking off a course that perhaps no individual can fully evade. In 2020, the National Book Foundation honored Coster as one of their 5 Under 35, and her debut novel, "Halsey Street," about gentrification in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, was a finalist for the 2018 Kirkus Prize for fiction. Here, in her elaborately constructed, multifamily saga of a second novel, Coster examines similar questions of erasure and inclusion, as well as how race and class impact every aspect of her characters' lives. Primarily set in a town known only as "a city in the Piedmont of North Carolina," the book's many plot lines radiate around an integration plan that brings students from the predominantly Black east side into the high school of the mostly white west. "The town had been largely split this way," she writes, "white and Black, then white and not white, for as long as Lacey could remember," capturing how segregation and inequality in so many towns throughout America get accepted without question until citizens are forced, eventually, to confront them. At the center of the story are Gee, a sensitive Black boy whose beloved about-to-be-stepfather, Ray, is murdered before his eyes when he's only 6 years old, and Noelle, a half-white, half-Latina girl, "bright as a lamp," whose Colombian father, Robbie, spends much of her and her two sisters' childhoods in prison due to drug addiction. Gee's mother, Jade, a nurse, is fiercely driven by both anger and "terror, for her son, the world she'd never be able to shield him from." Meanwhile, Noelle's mother, Lacey May, is determined to deny her children's mixed-race heritage, pushing her lightest-skinned daughter to pass as white and going so far as to protest the integration with demonstrations and hateful signs. Noelle concocts a scheme to put on Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure" to unify the disparate groups of high schoolers and to provoke and resist the so-called "concerned" parents. She persuades a reluctant Gee to participate and from then on, both students and their families collide in ways large and small. The book's rangy unfolding takes place from the early 1990s to the present day and hopscotches back and forth from the suburbs of Atlanta to Paris to Los Angeles to the small Southern city of Noelle and Gee's youth. The point of view rotates from one character to another, allowing Coster to depict their complex situations and moral ambiguities with depth and compassion. Weaving numerous plot threads — miscarriages, abortions, divorces, brain tumors, benders — into an intricate tapestry, Coster shows, as one of her indelible minor characters declares, that "It's only our life if we say so. Otherwise it belongs to them."

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    [3.6] A solid drama that adeptly portrays race and class and family dynamics through multiple viewpoints from childhood to adulthood. I like this novel and Coster’s warm, skillful writing! But I wonder if it will stay with me? So many characters and I didn't really bond with any of them. [3.6] A solid drama that adeptly portrays race and class and family dynamics through multiple viewpoints from childhood to adulthood. I like this novel and Coster’s warm, skillful writing! But I wonder if it will stay with me? So many characters and I didn't really bond with any of them.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    The other week my best friend made a simple yet resounding point I’d hardly ever considered: family are the only people we don’t choose to be with. But as poignant a statement this was, the one which followed is what resonated with me most, that while you can’t choose whom you come from, you can choose whom you go with. It made me wanna start singing Stephen Stills – but if you can’t beeeeee with one you love, honey, love the one you’re with – but that would’ve come across as dismissive. So ins The other week my best friend made a simple yet resounding point I’d hardly ever considered: family are the only people we don’t choose to be with. But as poignant a statement this was, the one which followed is what resonated with me most, that while you can’t choose whom you come from, you can choose whom you go with. It made me wanna start singing Stephen Stills – but if you can’t beeeeee with one you love, honey, love the one you’re with – but that would’ve come across as dismissive. So instead, I pondered my friend’s declaration even further. I don’t think he was suggesting familial replacement so much as he was valuing the importance of good friends; by his logic, they’re the family you can choose. (I also learned he was paraphrasing both Desmond Tutu and Harper Lee; forgive me, it’s been a minute since my last reading of To Kill a Mockingbird.) I’ve been admittedly lucky in life as it pertains to both family and friends. My family is one I’ve stuck with through thick and thin for the entirety of my existence, mostly without reservation. What’s more, I’ve been able to forge close friendships with people that act as a compliment to my clan rather than an alternative one. But once again, this is because I never had much reason or desire to replace one with the other. I found I could always rely on both. Which is why I am of the opinion that family defies its own definition in that it’s more subjective than objective. I know I am not alone in this opinion; how many of you refer to someone as your aunt and/or uncle despite not being blood-related (or married to someone who was)? Better still, how many of you would consider these people part of your family? My Aunt Judy is not my aunt. Not technically speaking, anyway. And yet I am far closer to her than I am with anyone in my extended family – either side – holding a similar designation. She has been my mother’s best friend for nearly 50 years, the sister she never had. Naturally this connection trickled down to their respective immediate families and it wasn’t until I was older that I discovered they weren’t actual sisters. To me, it didn’t matter; she was family. Still is. Maybe you’re one who chooses one side over the other. Maybe you’re one who delineates family from friends without any overlap. Maybe this sounds complicated to you, a Venn diagram gone awry. To which I would respond: families are complicated – regardless of whomever we consider to be a part of them. Family, both in its purest form and my own redefinition, acts as the heart of Naima Coster’s second novel, What’s Mine and Yours. Messiness, too, for the work not only speaks to the complicated nature of familial relationships but is fittingly a mess in and of itself. Problem is, I’m fairly certain only the former was intended. It’s a shame, too, because What’s Mine and Yours starts off with a bang – literally. Coster’s saga begins in 1992 in “a city in the Piedmont of North Carolina” where we’re introduced to Ray, a young father opening up Superfine, the bakery in which he works. In tow is Ray’s “good luck charm” in the form of his 6-year-old son, Gee, whom Ray plans to drop off at school soon after getting things in order for what’s expected to be a monumentally significant day for his place of employment: visitation (and presumed coverage) from a local newspaper. Most other days Gee would be heading to school with his mother, Jade, but we learn she’s both unreliable and youthfully (she’s considerably younger than the already-young Ray) oblivious –though not so much to eventually arrive at Superfine and take Gee herself. Finally left to focus on the reporter set to visit the bakery, Ray goes about his day as he normally would. This includes an interaction with Robbie Ventura, an area mechanic who frequents the shop and often commiserates with Ray about their respective families. Meanwhile, as the afternoon progresses Ray grows restless; the reporter has yet to show. He checks in with Jade, who is at her cousin’s prior to picking up Gee from school and complains of a headache. Ray valiantly steps to the plate and offers to pick them both up from their respective location before resuming his wait. He never gets the chance. For upon picking up Gee and arriving at Jade’s cousin’s place, he comes upon a dispute between the cousin and another unknown man to whom he owes money. Suffice to say it does not end well. That said, I was hooked. Sure, I had a few stylistic issues with Coster’s first chapter but as a standalone piece it was as strong as many of the short stories I’ve read recently. But What’s Mine and Yours is not a short story collection, although there are moments where it feels like it may be. Frankly, it would’ve been better off. Because we’re then introduced to the other family which centers the novel: Robbie’s. Jumping four years into the future (1996) The Venturas – mother Lacey May and her daughters Noelle, Diane and Margarita – are struggling to make ends meet, due much in part to Robbie’s absence. Lacey May has told her daughters he’s on a fishing job far away, but it’s all a front for his prison sentence. It’s an interesting enough premise, but I wondered where things were heading; I just as well assumed Coster to be building layers of foundation for her home. I just didn’t expect the home to be so unnecessarily sprawling. For in subsequent chapters, we not only shift perspectives, but also time periods. Soon we’re getting to know every damn Ventura under the sun (save for their dog, Jenkins, whom I was surprised to find left out). I searched for some discernible link to What’s Mine and Yours’s explosive first chapter and was still struggling to find it. Were these families simply united by their dysfunctions? Ray and Robbie’s flimsily developed relationship? Or was this just some massive build-up to something more significant? It turns out to be option C, but it takes a good 100 pages or so to get there. I’ve seen quite a few people pointing this out given the novel’s own summary doesn’t even live up to its billing until a third of the way through. And yet that was hardly my biggest issue with What’s Mine and Yours. I like to think I can handle expansive, multi-generational family sagas just as well as the next guy, but there’s expansive, and then there’s messy. You can probably guess which camp What’s Mine and Yours fell into. This is likely due to its many, many characters, whose development vary in execution. Much of the real estate is devoted to Lacey May and her daughter Noelle, yet both are overwritten to the point of appearing like stereotypes. The same can be said for Jade, who becomes connected to the Venturas not because of Robbie’s association with Ray (which somehow goes unnoticed) but because of her fight for school integration (specifically for Gee), which is vehemently opposed by Lacey May (Noelle attends the school in question) for whatever reason. Conversely, Noelle’s sisters, Margarita and Diane, are so thinly written they’re barely peripheral; the former may as well be the “pretty one” and the latter “the gay one.” A couple of days ago I had compared What’s Mine and Yours to last year’s much ballyhooed and wildly overrated Such a Fun Age for this exact reason. And I suppose also because I expect What’s Mine and Yours to be a big hit. It certainly has the makings of one: a glowing endorsement from an author (Mary Beth Keane) who wrote a far better version of the same story (Ask Again, Yes; the ‘Read with Jenna’ sticker affixed to its cover; a checklist of hot button topics ranging from race to wealth to loyalty to drug abuse to LGBTQIA to miscarriage as if to prove its wokeness. Sound familiar? Most of all, it’s the novel’s relatability which I think will resonate most because even for those who weren’t a fan of What’s Mine and Yours (namely me), it’s hard not to relate to it. Especially as it pertains to family, for if there’s one thing Naima Coster’s work does well is express its belief that while we can’t choose whom or where we come from, we can choose with whom and where we go. Thing is, I’m not so sure everyone needs What’s Mine and Yours to recognize that. I for one did not.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Lindsay

    Extraordinary tale of gentrification, equality, race, and legacy that begs the question: what are you leaving behind? Several years ago, I read and loved Niama Coster's debut, HALSEY STREET, and fell in love with her voice and writing. Her sophomore book is so daring, so beautifully told, but also bold and passionate, exploring comforting companionship, siblings, home, parent and child, and so much more. Set in the foothills of North Carolina, WHAT'S MINE AND YOURS (Grand Central, March 2 2021) Extraordinary tale of gentrification, equality, race, and legacy that begs the question: what are you leaving behind? Several years ago, I read and loved Niama Coster's debut, HALSEY STREET, and fell in love with her voice and writing. Her sophomore book is so daring, so beautifully told, but also bold and passionate, exploring comforting companionship, siblings, home, parent and child, and so much more. Set in the foothills of North Carolina, WHAT'S MINE AND YOURS (Grand Central, March 2 2021) is beautifully written, in elegant and moving prose, but also rife with deep, perceptive description from a poet's heart. There's the "Black side" of town and the "White side," school integration, and the resistance of residents. For Gee and Noelle, this integration sets off a chain reaction bonding the two together for at least the next twenty years. Families are split--in their desire to integrate, how they see it benefitting each family and race/culture. But there's also mixed-race Latina individuals comprising this story, making it a richly textured tale of the times, leading us to question our roles in the gentrification--and integration--of the country. Coster is an expert, master storyteller, whose characters are messy, sometimes unpredictable, authentic, and flawed, which make them all the more human. The pacing is steady and subtle, but it's this glittering prose and story circumstances that keep readers engaged as they sort through their own feelings of motherhood, family, race, and community. I was reminded, in part, of Leesa Cross-Smith's THIS CLOSE TO OKAY, Therese Anne Fowler THE GOOD NEIGHBOR, Tayari Jones's AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE and also, possibly Mary Beth Keane's ASK AGAIN, YES for the multi-family, multi-generational ties. In that sense, I might also compare this writing style to that of J. Courtney Sullivan. For all my reviews, including author interviews, please see: www.leslielindsay.com|Always with a Book Special thanks to Grand Central Publishing for this review copy. All thoughts are my own.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Samuel David

    Here’s the TL;DR: Naima Coster’s books are brilliant and weave story through time and space in such a novel (no pun intended), yet seamless way that you can’t help wanting more. If you are looking for a book that disconnects you into an imagined reality with all the emotions of real life, its joys and struggles, What’s Mine and Yours is your next must-read of 2021. What’s Mine and Yours is steeped in duality for just the right amount of time to make an elegant tea. Delicate and hardening, Naima’ Here’s the TL;DR: Naima Coster’s books are brilliant and weave story through time and space in such a novel (no pun intended), yet seamless way that you can’t help wanting more. If you are looking for a book that disconnects you into an imagined reality with all the emotions of real life, its joys and struggles, What’s Mine and Yours is your next must-read of 2021. What’s Mine and Yours is steeped in duality for just the right amount of time to make an elegant tea. Delicate and hardening, Naima’s story seems to ricochet off its characters until the web of tension breaks (but doesn’t shatter) under its own weight. It follows the lives of two families in a southern city struggling to understand how to come of age and survive in the 21st century. An intimate look at evolving sexual, racial, mental health and socioeconomic politics both within and without family, each character finds themselves at the precipice of deciding what parts of their inheritance they chose to pass along to the next generation. I often come to novels wanting an escape from reality, but this book edifies the reader and challenges each of us to own what is ours, what we’ve been given in this life and what is yet to be written. In the end, the challenge really is deciding what’s mine....and what’s yours. It’s good tea, y’all.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jamise

    The more I kept thinking about this book, i had to change my rating to 5 stars. I'm a mood reader and from the heartbreaking first chapter to the surprise towards the end, I was invested in this story. Naima does not hold back on shining the spotlight on issues that permeate throughout society. The authenticity on the page was delightful. Naima gives it to you FULL STOP! We begin in Piedmont, North Carolina when a new county law integrates a white high school with a students from the Black commu The more I kept thinking about this book, i had to change my rating to 5 stars. I'm a mood reader and from the heartbreaking first chapter to the surprise towards the end, I was invested in this story. Naima does not hold back on shining the spotlight on issues that permeate throughout society. The authenticity on the page was delightful. Naima gives it to you FULL STOP! We begin in Piedmont, North Carolina when a new county law integrates a white high school with a students from the Black community. < cue outrage > What’s Mine and Yours delves into racism, anti-blackness, integration, microaggressions, socioeconomic status, privilege, entitlement, sisterhood, motherhood, and family dynamics. I loved the nonlinear structure carrying you back and forth in time with different points of views. Chosen family vs the family you are born into was another theme that gave a nice perspective to the story. Naima masterfully delivered multiple characters without losing me as a reader. I loved the way she had me rooting for some folks and disliking others but all the while I was able to have empathy for parents who want the best for their children. As I shared with Naima during our IG Live conversation, it's maddening when Black and brown parents seek out better opportunities for their children, especially as it relates to education. They are always faced with opposition and the notion that they are taking something away from others. UGH!! I could go on and on but I'm all about feeling and this story gave me all the feels. ⁣

  17. 4 out of 5

    Maggie McDermott

    I haven’t loved or felt connected to many books in 2021 and for that I am grateful to What’s Mine and Yours. The writing in this book is so smart. It’s complex in a way that transports you into the book as opposed to being confusing. The story and characters are real and pure. I was shocked at the twists and was drawn back to the book when I wasn’t reading.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    Two different families, both dysfunctional in their own way. A father struggling with addiction, another father shot in front of his son and the families coping with the fallout. Sisters fighting, racial tension, school integration, abortion, lesbianism, infidelity. A twist that I saw coming. And a timeline that jumped back and forth so much it made my head spin.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    I went into What’s Mine and Yours not having any idea what to expect and this story went beyond what I could have imagined. 100 pages in and I already knew this was going to be a 5⭐️ book. The first chapter…. whoa. From there it was clear that this was going to be a tough but incredible read. I loved how the story slowly unraveled between the two timelines and all the characters were connected in many subtle and profound ways. It is definitely a character driven slow burn, but still one that I d I went into What’s Mine and Yours not having any idea what to expect and this story went beyond what I could have imagined. 100 pages in and I already knew this was going to be a 5⭐️ book. The first chapter…. whoa. From there it was clear that this was going to be a tough but incredible read. I loved how the story slowly unraveled between the two timelines and all the characters were connected in many subtle and profound ways. It is definitely a character driven slow burn, but still one that I didn’t want to put down. It touches on a little of everything from gentrification to grief to racism to addiction. The way that the book portrays racism and the dialogue around it gave me chills while I was reading. I was angry at the characters and the school, but also angry that the events in the book are still a reality. I liked that there wasn’t a perfect, clean ending, but one that felt authentic to the story. I’m not going to give a synopsis because this one is best if you go in blind. I highly recommend this to all readers, but those who like literary fiction will really enjoy this one! Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 Huge thank you to @grandcentralpub for the #gifted advance copy, this book comes out 3/2! I think this one is going to get a ton of buzz when it comes out (for good reason!) and it would make an EXCELLENT book club book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Christina Gonzalez

    Wow I was in tears upon completing this beautifully woven story. The setting was masterfully depicted and brought to life and the characters were incredibly dynamic. I felt transported into the story every time I picked it up. There are twists and turns and surprises all along the way in this brilliant crafted masterpiece. Coster has truly done it again. Can’t possibly recommend enough!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Addie BookCrazyBlogger

    Two families. Three decades. Lives that intersect and will define each other’s futures, that will span across North Carolina, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Paris. Jade and Gee are a young, single Black mother-anxious son, who have suffered the loss of her husband and his father. Jade is in nursing school, trying to manage her grief and her love for her son. Across town, Lacey May’s husband Robbie, who was good friends with Jade’s husband, has landed himself in jail after trying to steal a cop car whi Two families. Three decades. Lives that intersect and will define each other’s futures, that will span across North Carolina, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Paris. Jade and Gee are a young, single Black mother-anxious son, who have suffered the loss of her husband and his father. Jade is in nursing school, trying to manage her grief and her love for her son. Across town, Lacey May’s husband Robbie, who was good friends with Jade’s husband, has landed himself in jail after trying to steal a cop car while high. Desperate to pay the bills, Lacey May ends up doing whatever it takes to take care of her three girls. When the local high school begins integrating Black children, decisions will cause create pathways into the future that will span a lifetime. I always thought integration in schools happened in the 50’s with Brown vs. Board of education. I am woefully ignorant of the real story behind it. The last school to be publicly integrated was in Mississippi-in 2017. Considering our story starts in the ‘90’s, my white readers will be appalled at the racist, selfish bile that is spoken in this book. Or maybe, if you grew up like I did, in a town where racism is the norm, you’ll see your neighbors, family members and in that small, dark part of you, you might recognize some of the arguments as ones you’ve had around your own dinner table. Racism isn’t the only topic to be covered in this novel: drug addiction and class are also major topics, specifically how drug addiction in the lower class is seen as dirty, lowbrow, while addiction in the upper class simply looks like partying.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    My review is based on an ARC. The murder of a baker named Ray named Ray has lasting emotional impact on two families. The novel starts on the day the Blackman is killed on the east side of Piedmont, North Carolina. He spends the morning baking with his girlfriend's tactiturn son, working besides his old friend Linette, and taking a breaking with his immigrant friend Robbie Ventura. His girlfriend Jade was hard hit, but not as much as her son Gee and Robbie. Robbie descends into a drug addiction My review is based on an ARC. The murder of a baker named Ray named Ray has lasting emotional impact on two families. The novel starts on the day the Blackman is killed on the east side of Piedmont, North Carolina. He spends the morning baking with his girlfriend's tactiturn son, working besides his old friend Linette, and taking a breaking with his immigrant friend Robbie Ventura. His girlfriend Jade was hard hit, but not as much as her son Gee and Robbie. Robbie descends into a drug addiction that leads to prison time and leads to the end of his marriage to Lacey Mae and a fracture in his relationship with his three daughters. The book jumps around in time between Gee and Robbie's daughter Noelle in high school together in 2002 and in 2018 when Robbie's wife Lacey May has cancer. The main narrative thrust of the past events and how they affect now. Lacey May is against the integration of the poorer high school students in 2002, but her daughter Noelle is against it and she begins working on a play with Gee. In 2018, Noelle's marriage is falling apart, her sister Diane is hiding her lesbian relationship in plain view, and Margarita's instagrammable life as an actress in LA is all lies. The sister gather at their mother's bedside, but their family is bitter and fractured, and no one can find Robbie. The family drama and relationships between all the characters are fascinating. It's interesting to see a character like Lacey Mae, who is white with Latina daughters of various shades and racist to the Black kids at the school. It's a very New South character you do see much of. The male characters are interesting but underdeveloped compared to the women with the exception of Noelle's husband Nelson. (view spoiler)[ The fact that Nelson is adult Gee wasn't as big a revelation after you read the chapter from Nelson's perspective as a photographer and see all the parallels to teenaged Gee's behavior. (hide spoiler)] Motherhood and family is a big theme of this book, so I had a bit of difficulty relating to it compared to how in a family everyone plays the same roles no matter their age. It really is a solid novel..

  23. 4 out of 5

    Melania

    I loved the first chapter. The book was extremely disjointed, reading about several sets of seemingly short stories, characters introduced with a tiny half of a sentence to explain their relation to other major characters with pages and pages and pages of overexpressed descriptions of (???) material. I wondered if the book was short stories written by the author then forced to a novel. On one of the last pages it did tie up how the stories were related but by that point I was so frustrated with I loved the first chapter. The book was extremely disjointed, reading about several sets of seemingly short stories, characters introduced with a tiny half of a sentence to explain their relation to other major characters with pages and pages and pages of overexpressed descriptions of (???) material. I wondered if the book was short stories written by the author then forced to a novel. On one of the last pages it did tie up how the stories were related but by that point I was so frustrated with the book, it was certainly anti-climatic. However, I enjoyed: the first chapter, Linetta, parts of Nelson’s time in Paris, Nelson’s letter. Otherwise, not much else. Definitely one of my least favorites of Jennas book club picks.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kris Patrick

    The book flap description isn’t quite representative, but I don’t know what it should say instead. What’s Mine and Yours is about a lot more than a high school integration debate within an NC community. Knowing the race of various characters is important when reading, and I had to infer about a few. I wouldn’t have minded if Coster directly stated their race early in the text though I imagine that it’s a tricky line for writers.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Baker

    3/19; Not quite half way through and really loving this book! 3/21 update; After being disappointed by The Four Winds (love Kristen Hannah) and Girl A I was surprised at how much I liked What’s Mine and Yours! I was afraid I’d become a harsh or jaded critic. Love ‘em or hate ‘em the characters are well written and well developed. It’s a big story with little stories interwoven. I got lost in this book and was anxious to see what would happen with these people I had become so invested in. I highly 3/19; Not quite half way through and really loving this book! 3/21 update; After being disappointed by The Four Winds (love Kristen Hannah) and Girl A I was surprised at how much I liked What’s Mine and Yours! I was afraid I’d become a harsh or jaded critic. Love ‘em or hate ‘em the characters are well written and well developed. It’s a big story with little stories interwoven. I got lost in this book and was anxious to see what would happen with these people I had become so invested in. I highly recommend this book!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tonja

    This is the ultimate family saga. It is told from the viewpoint of two families and spans a few decades. It begins in a small town in North Carolina and follows the family members to Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Paris. At the center of the story are the opposing views the two mothers have about integration. Young mother Jade is from the predominately black, "East-side" and wants her son Gee to have the advantages of the best school. On the other side of town, Lacy May feels she needs to protect her This is the ultimate family saga. It is told from the viewpoint of two families and spans a few decades. It begins in a small town in North Carolina and follows the family members to Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Paris. At the center of the story are the opposing views the two mothers have about integration. Young mother Jade is from the predominately black, "East-side" and wants her son Gee to have the advantages of the best school. On the other side of town, Lacy May feels she needs to protect her three daughters from the "bad influences" of integration. Although she is white, her daughters are half Hispanic. What drew me into the story is how both families were more alike than they realized. Both women are fighting to build a life for their children without the men they thought they could count on. With Jade's son Gee, I could just feel the whole in his heart as he grew up without a father. Each of Lacey May's daughters struggles in different ways due to their mother's choices. When the mothers and kids of the two families intersect, they become a part of each other in ways they never expected. A wonderful story of the tragedy and triumph of family. Thank you to GCP for the gifted copy in exchange for my honest review. 4.5 stars

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kayla Gillen

    I loved this book; the last thirty pages were a heartbreaking but perfect way to tie the stories together. I wish it ended the way I wanted, but I knew i couldn’t have my way for the story to hold the meaning that it did. totally recommend.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ronni Klein

    Thank you to Grand Central Publishing and Goodreads for the ARC. I write this review with the knowledge that the final published copy may have changed since I read the ARC. I wanted to love this book, and I did like it, but it fell a bit short for me. First, the big reveal at the end, I had figured out from early on in the book. Secondly, the ending was very abrupt and I wanted a bit more. I would have been happy to read another 20-30 pages to just get MORE closure from all of the characters.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cass

    Okay, was lucky to win an ARC of this from Goodreads, and this is another that I am just so excited for people to read. This book is about so many things, including but not limited to: race, gender, class, generational trauma, family, mothers, love, hate, and coming home. I think that this is one of those books that you just have to sit with for a bit beause there is so much happening - much of which comes together at the very end - but this was beautifully written, heartbreaking from the very f Okay, was lucky to win an ARC of this from Goodreads, and this is another that I am just so excited for people to read. This book is about so many things, including but not limited to: race, gender, class, generational trauma, family, mothers, love, hate, and coming home. I think that this is one of those books that you just have to sit with for a bit beause there is so much happening - much of which comes together at the very end - but this was beautifully written, heartbreaking from the very first chapter, and one that I would recommend everyone pick up when it comes out!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Leasa Mcintosh

    Very well written. This book wrapped up nicely without being sappy.

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