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The Women of Brewster Place (Penguin Contemporary American Fiction Series) Paperback – June 30, 1983
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From Library Journal
Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo, N.Y.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Gloria Naylor gives lie to the notion that authors and readers must be bound by their self-stereotypes and that persons of diverse racial or economic backgrounds cannot understand each other. This book is beautiful.
Yes, the majority of characters are black women from the ghetto. But, like true literature, this book isn't really about so select a group. The experiences and feelings of these women are transcendent - transcendent because they are "real" persons first and black women second.
For example, Naylor describes the grief a young mother suffers for an infant who has died after sticking its finger into an electric socket. The grief Naylor captures is universal. If mystics have experiences in which they have such joy it makes them feel one with the universe, then Naylor does the same thing here, only with pain.
And isn't this what literature is supposed to do: make us understand ourselves better by showing life as someone else, someone who may be 100% different than us? And by gaining a glimpse that perhaps we are not as different from others as we assumed, don't we join the world a little more?
The characters range from unlikable to almost saintly in their descriptions. Although presented as several short stories, they do complete a coherent novel with the same characters throughout. What I enjoyed was that Naylor did not simply focus upon the hardships involved with living in Brewster, but the motivations behind the "cases". I think she did a great job providing us with women from different backgrounds, all ending up in the same place, with different hopes and dreams for themselves.
Men do play a substantial part in the happiness or lack thereof for the characters. Although other reviewers disliked this about the book, I think it is sadly realistic. Part of the culture of the day that this book is set in is that women didn't have the same opportunities, especially without a husband. I think it affects the mindset of the community and in general, the women resent men, but realize they need them, and are angered by that.
I enjoyed this book...and I would recommend it. I found that the descriptions and backgrounds of the women at Brewster Place were very interesting, and gave me some insight to a culture that we prefer to forget about - that is - the women left without husbands (or with "bad" ones...) in a time when women were supposed to rely on these men who abandoned them. It's about finding something within to fill the gaps that society doesn't provide for. The women try to make a community out of a group of unfulfilled dreamers, of a group of people that don't really understand eachother, and become self-reliant women. And of course, get out of Brewster Place.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
childhood favorite, son had to read it for school so I joined in and got the movie as well.Published 2 months ago by luv2read
This book is such a fantastic representation of how a community can include such a wide variety of individuals and stories. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Lauren Hinkel
One of my favorite classics that I enjoy re-reading... I ordered it for my husband and I was happy to hear that it is being passed around the cell block.Published 7 months ago by Mrs. Sonia Delana Gipson-Lewis
Gloria Naylor was born in New York City on January 25, 1950. Her mother instilled in her, from an early age, the importance of education and the written word. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amber D. Davis
The book was bought for my daughter and she seems to love it so much that she wants to see the movie. Seems to be very intensed to her.Published 9 months ago by Tiny