This is the third book I have read by this author and I find that I love her more each time I read her. This book was a memoir, a recollection of her life growing up between an urban setting run by her mother and grandmother-"the bosoms", and the summers spent in the rural community of North Carolina with her father's people. It is also a tribute- to her father and all the other important men in her life. The contrasts in her life were many. Going between a professional mother who had made a place for herself within the city social services dept., and her father, a paraplegic who lived by sheer determination.At first the book starts out almost lyrical but then quickly settles into going more of a chronological tale of what she remembers about her family, church, school, dancing, dating, music, civil rights, important historical events. She portrays everything with honesty about her feelings as well as a humorous tone. One of the sadder things that struck me was when she asked her father if she could go to the library for more books. Her father said that was complicated. Little did she realize growing up in Philly and having access to all kinds of cultural resources that in his North Carolina community it was a white only library. And how sad for a father to have to try to explain that. He never did but managed to bring home enough books to keep her occupied for the rest of the summer. Now that's a dad! There are also many funny parts, many centered around her 2 grandmothers, as well as school yard pranks. This definitely was a feel good book in that she tried to show any struggles she faced in a positive light and she shows her gratefulness for having had the kind of parents and mentoring that has helped her flourish. Warning-if you are not familiar with African American vernacular, you might want to keep urban dictionary handy. This is the second book that I have read by her that would make a good discussion/studyof race relations during difficult historical times in America. I would recommend putting this on high schoolers reading lists.
eBook Sweet Summer