The Women of Brewster Place

The Women of Brewster Place

4.5 10
by Gloria Naylor
     
 

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Once the home of poor Irish and Italian immigrants, Brewster Place, a rotting tenement on a dead-end street, now shelters black families. This novel portrays the courage, the fear, and the anguish of some of the women there who hold their families together, trying to make a home. Among them are: Mattie Michael, the matriarch who loses her son to prison; Etta Mae

Overview

Once the home of poor Irish and Italian immigrants, Brewster Place, a rotting tenement on a dead-end street, now shelters black families. This novel portrays the courage, the fear, and the anguish of some of the women there who hold their families together, trying to make a home. Among them are: Mattie Michael, the matriarch who loses her son to prison; Etta Mae Johnson who tries to trade the 'high life' for marriage with a local preacher; Kiswana Browne who leaves her middle-class family to organize a tenant's union.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This new, slightly abridged audio version of The Women of Brewster Place is a good rendition of Naylor's 1982 debut novel, which won a National Book Award. Tonya Pinkins reads and presents the characters very well, catching the lyricism of each woman's story; the range of emotions is a demanding task, and Pinkins responds creatively and sensitively. The recording length captures the essence of Naylor's seven stories, but for those who know the book, this abridgment doesn't fully capture the power of the whole or the full devastation and pride of Naylor's characters. The program will have to be repackaged as the original box won't withstand much handling. This is appropriate for budget-pressed libraries that can't afford the unabridged version (Audio Reviews, LJ 11/15/93).-Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo, N.Y.
Sacred Fire
The Women of Brewster Place chronicles the communal strength of seven black women living in decrepit rented houses on a walled-off street in an urban neighborhood. Mattie Michael, the matriarch of the group, is a source of comfort and strength for the other women. Etta Mae Johnson is a free spirit who repeatedly gets involved with men who disappoint her. Kiswana Browne embraces racial pride and eventually accepts her motherÆs middle-class values. Lorraine and Theresa are lovers; when Lorraine is gang-raped, she is deeply troubled by the attack and murders Ben, who is one of her few supporters and the janitor of Brewster Place. Cora Lee loves her babies, while Ciel is on a path of self-destruction, having suffered a series of personal disasters.

The Women of Brewster Place is a moving portrait of the strengths, struggles, and hopes of black women. At the end of the novel, the women demolish the wall that separates them from the rest of the city Gloria Naylor weaves together the truths and myths of the womenÆs lives, creating characters who are free to determine the course of their lives, embodying the self actualization tradition of the Harlem Renaissance.

NaylorÆs other books are BaileyÆs Cafe, Linden Hills, Mama Day, and The Men of Brewster Place. The Women of Brewster Place, her first novel, won the American Book Award for Best First Novel in 1983.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101656174
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/28/2005
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
160,648
File size:
473 KB

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The Women of Brewster Place 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like many classics, The Women of Brewster Place can be read every few decades or so, as a favorite life-long book. At my first reading, I was a struggling single mother like Cora Lee, and her fierce motivation to improve the quality of her life for herself and her children moved me deeply. I recall exactly where I was, waiting for a metro at the La Salle station in Montreal, when a certain passage filled me with such emotion I wept quietly because I'd just read a perfect articulation of my life situation with the unparalled understanding of one who knows. Gloria Naylor's gripping first novel was a great friend to me during a time when I needed to understand and to be understood.
ChubbyRunaway More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing, a fast read, but amazing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
When I watched the movie after reading the book I was suprised and disappointed in the movie. It was a big let down when compared with the book. One specific point I had trouble with was Basil when he was grown up. The book gave the impression that he was about 25 yrs of age while the movie showed a man about 35 yrs of age. In the movie the aurgement between Basil and his mother seem very rehearsed and formal not like a son speaking to his mother. The end of the argument also left something to be desired. The apologetic thoughts of Mattie were lost in the movie. Over all I thought that the book was superior to the movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to read this as one of my five summer reading books this year in English. My best friend, Lauren, and I went through the list of choices and figured out which book was the shortest (which happened to be this one- 198 pages). The title sounded boring, but as soon as I read the first chapter I was enthralled and couldn't put it down! This seven-story book combines the lives of different women from different places and the struggles they endured to end up in Brewster Place. Their blatent jokes and secret terrible pasts make this a wonderful book for anyone to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is really great. I had to read it for my english class thisyear and i loved it. You are taken through the lives of different women who live at Brewster's place. Their stories are joyful and sad and leave you with an overall meaningful message. I recommend this book and other titles by Gloria Naylor
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is very interesting book, from 'Dusk' to 'Dawn'. It is very unpredictable. You may read the first chapter and it will leave you in awe. You won't be able to wait for the next chapter. I really like it because the women in this book are bruttle on the outside and soft-centered on the inside. They are also brutually demnading but easily pleased. Although their dreams are deferred by something that happened in their life, they can look back at it and laugh.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a great book. It tells the tales of women who have gone through a lot to get where they are. It shows the when you think you are at the lowest look around you because you will have someone there to help you. And that is the only way to get over the wall.