All I Need to Get By

All I Need to Get By

4.5 2
by Sophfronia Scott
     
 

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Crita has come a long way from her small-town Ohio roots. A successful tax accountant living in Manhattan, she finally has the independent life that she dreamed of as a girl. However, with one fateful phone call, Crita's life is turned upside down. Suddenly back home, living under her parent's roof, Crita must confront two powerful men from her childhood—Link,

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Overview

Crita has come a long way from her small-town Ohio roots. A successful tax accountant living in Manhattan, she finally has the independent life that she dreamed of as a girl. However, with one fateful phone call, Crita's life is turned upside down. Suddenly back home, living under her parent's roof, Crita must confront two powerful men from her childhood—Link, her destructive brother with whom she shares a dark secret, and Tree, her first love.

Facing memories that she would rather forget, Crita struggles to reconcile a tumultuous past with a calmer, quieter present. Needing help along the way, she may even learn to lean on Tree, the only man who could ever give her "what she needs to get by." In this riveting debut novel, All I Need to Get By, Sophfronia Scott speaks for anyone that knows just how hard it is to go back home again.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
The modern working class African American family with adult professional children is the basis for this first novel by Scott. When Crita, an accountant with her own business in Manhattan, gets an early morning phone call from her mother, telling her that her father is sick, she and her sisters decide that their parents need them and they all go to Lorain, Ohio to their childhood home. Their adored older brother, Linc, who threw away his promising career and his family for drugs, also returns. During their father's illness, the siblings must come to terms with each other and with their past in order to make peace and move on. Scott has written a thoughtful book about family, independence and knowing when to let go. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2004, St. Martin's Griffin, 357p., Ages 15 to adult.
—Nola Theiss
Kirkus Reviews
Black family, deep roots, abiding love. Crita Carter lives in New York but she isn't from there. Her father's roots are in rural Mississippi, her mother's in blue-collar Cleveland, where Crita grew up, the daughter of a 1950s siren in a poodle skirt whose sexy pout charmed Henry Carter into marriage. An early morning call from her mother brings bad news: Henry, the father who stands impossibly tall and strong in her childhood memories, is very sick, and no one knows why. Crita heads for Alexandria, Virginia, to pick up her married sister, and as the crowded urban settings give way to the flat openness of Ohio, they begin to retell the stories that shaped their lives, going all the way back to their beautiful, pipe-smoking grandmother. Vinola Ellis Carter, who eked out a living on a dirt farm, was beloved by her children but nearly killed in a fit of jealous rage by her husband. Yet she endured, and the next generation prospered. Henry Carter inherited enough of his father's temper that Crita and her sisters grew up knowing better than to cross him, but son Linc turned from a promising athlete into a junkie beyond hope or help. Caught between desire for an old love, Tree, and feelings for her dying father, Crita is at sixes and sevens. She attempts a reconciliation with Linc, out of control and near death from multiple addictions. Because of him, Crita is critically wounded in a street-corner shooting and hovers in a morphine dream between this world and the next, seeing visions of her father and her family. Linc recovers, and Crita survives, but Henry Carter does not. Somber, controlled prose lends dignity to this family drama, though the emotions seem oddly muted. Still, a polished andpromising debut.
Benilde Little
Sophfronia Scott's writing is assured and the emotions are palpable. She's a writer to watch.
Gail Buckley
Sophfronia Scott has written a wonderfully warm and wise portrait of family relationships, responsibilities, and going home again that mark her as a writer of depth as well as talent.
Veronica Chambers
Sophfronia Scott's words bubble over with love, anger, weakness, strength and the grace note of patience. Each chapter is a road map; each character is a tree, a landmark on a road that winds towards home, in all its shuttered complexity.
Professor Henry Louis Gates
Lorain, Ohio, is familiar territory to readers of Toni Morrison, but Sophfronia Scott makes it her own. All I Need to Get By is a stunning debut, a story of family and memory, and the stories we tell about both in order to "get by." The novel is equal parts profundity, humor, and grace, and its author promises to take a place among the best writers of her generation.
former executive editor at People Susan Toepfer
I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading All I Need to Get By. It's a terrific book—beautifully written, really well-drawn characters, emotionally resonant. It's also filled with great integrity—not a false note in there. I'm really proud of you, as I'm sure all your family and friends are, and hope this is the first of many novels to come.
Soledad O'Brien
Sophfronia Scott's debut novel is wonderful. What is more heartwarming—and heartwrenching—than the story of a family torn apart, then woven together? Bravo!

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466865365
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
03/04/2014
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
1,038,349
File size:
0 MB

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