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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
In a New York City housing project, the young Singleton family struggles to survive. Goodman's debut novel opens with a harrowing home birth, as a 30-year-old mother delivers her 13-year-old daughter's baby. The new grandmother names her grandson Abraham, after the biblical patriarch -- an inauspicious beginning of what will be a terrifying tour of Ever Park project.
As a young boy, Abraham is "obsessed with flight." For all the brothers in the projects, flight -- whether it's a plane flying overhead, a pair of coveted Air Jordans, or the exhilaration of a drug-induced high -- symbolizes escape from the bitter reality of poverty and crime. Abraham's uncle, just nine years old when Abraham is born, is filled with athletic promise, seemingly bound to slip the shackles of defeat he was born to wear. Instead, he's arrested for being a "mule," ferrying drugs to pay his family's bills.
Again and again, hope is extinguished, yet somehow the family survives. Abraham's most crushing loss, his mother's overdose, seems to be the last straw. But against all odds, his remaining family stands with him, refusing to let him fall. His story, at once stirring and horrifying, shows that, with the power of love, human beings can survive even the most harrowing circumstances, against the worst imaginable odds. (Summer 2009 Selection)