Hold Love Strong

Hold Love Strong

by Matthew Aaron Goodman
4.1 12


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Hold Love Strong by Matthew Aaron Goodman

In this poignant tale of self-discovery, a young man struggles to survive the New York City housing projects in the face of familial, communal, and personal devastation.

Born to a thirteen-year-old in the bathroom of his family's small apartment, Abraham Sing leton enters a world laden with the obstacles inherent in an impoverished community. In spite of the crack epidemic and the HIV crisis that ravage their neighborhood, the Singleton family -- cousins, an uncle, an aunt, Abraham, and his mother -- is held together by Abraham's heroic grandmother, whose deep faith and stoic nature have always given them a sense of wholeness and hope. But when the family goes through several harrowing losses, not even his grandmother may be strong enough to lead them through.

At the center of this story is Abraham, the youngest of the Singletons. Deeply intuitive and cerebral, he is determined to thrive in a place that has destroyed the dreams of those around him. College means opportunity, yet it also means leaving behind those he loves. Abraham's journey into adulthood will break his heart but ultimately offer the possibility of redemption.

In this haunting, lyrical, and evocative novel, Matthew Goodman composes a paean to the power of family and belonging in the African-American community. Hold Love Strong is a spellbinding coming-of-age tale about love, hope, and the will to survive, and a stunning universal story about the incredible capacity of the human spirit.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416562030
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication date: 04/14/2009
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Matthew Goodman earned a B.A. degree in literature from Brandeis University and an MFA from Emerson College. He has been a student of writing at the 92nd Street Y, Breadloaf Writer’s Conference, and the Vermont Studio Center, and has taught and worked in inner-city communities for years. Working hand-in-hand with formerly incarcerated men and women, he created The Leadership Alliance, a community empowerment project that unites community leaders and volunteer partners. He lives with his wife in Brooklyn, New York.

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Hold Love Strong 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
voraciousreaderIL More than 1 year ago
While Matthew Aaron Goodman might be a great new author, I have read this same book over and over, but never in novel form. "Random Families" is a true story that will touch your heart and show you the REAL life that is led by the "characters" in this story. I had to stop reading this because I found no connection to the characters. The book jumped around and the characters were not developed well enough for me to care about them, except for the grandmother. Do yourself a favor and read a true story about the cycle of poverty-life in the projects, etc.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OOSABookClub More than 1 year ago
The difficulty of breaking the poverty cycle when the odds are against you. The love of a family when "babies raising babies" is not gender specific but communal and yet the determination to hope for better becomes the drive that sustains. This is the journey of one male from infancy to college and the lives that subsidizes his flight including death, pushing drugs, disability, violence, incarceration and intimidation. Very well done. Integration of strong language with strong characters. You find yourself rooting for the main character to not be entombed by the pain, disappointments, humility, discouragement and hopelessness which surrounds him while appreciating that the mind is limited in how much trauma can be inflicted upon it without negative consequences. Emotionally you find yourself celebrating accomplishments and undertandings with relief, as there is always a choice. Also, you see maturity of thought in children that is lacking in adults and wonder how inappropriate that is yet rejoicing that someone, anyone, can add some wisdom to a chaotic situation. "Hold Love Strong" is immense, enjoyable and a compelling read. It offered insight into the ease of entrapment in poverty regardless of talent, wisdom, age, motivation, or circumstances. Highly recommend. Reviewed by: Gail
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book at the suggestion of a friend and I will say; I did like it. The main character was touching and you wanted to see how he turned out. The story, while commonplace in the urban cities, was very interesting to read and kept you guessing. I think it would be good for a book club. Lots to discuss.
MishMill More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Matthew Aaron Goodman has written an incredible novel. I cried a few times while reading about Abraham and his family. The characters are real and authentic, and I really cared about them as the book progressed. I have recommended this to a few people and they loved it as well. Read this book!
misstoni007 More than 1 year ago
Amazing! Amazing! Amazing! is all I can keep saying about this wonderful gem of a book. The story of the Singleton family is just nothing short of amazing. So many hardships come across through their lives yet their love for family keeps them going strong. I cold not stop reading this book and did not want to end. Beautifully written by an amazing author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Aradanryl More than 1 year ago
"I hope that upon each page you find a compelling story composed with and about humanity, nothing more, nothing less." wrote the author in a letter that accompanied the ARC that I read. And that I definitely did! This is an incredibly well-written story of survival, of the indomitable spirit of a child who wanted something different than the way of life he was living. Abraham, the main character, is so real that even after I have already put the book away, even knowing it is labeled fiction, I think of that young man's innate strength of character. I was sorry the book ended and I'll never know what happened to Kaya, Donnel and Nice. Caveat: this book has incessant but not gratuitous use of the f-word and n-word, which in a lesser book, would have prevented me from enjoying it. In this book, the language is part of what makes this book feel more real than fiction.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1982 in the Ever Park project in New York City, thirteen year old Jelly Singleton gives birth to Abraham on the bathroom floor of her grandmother's apartment while her mom thinks her daughter is having a gas attack. The rest of the family that includes his nine year old Uncle Roosevelt, his Aunt Rhonda and her brood especially the oldest four year old Donnel are at the movies watching ET. Over the tweener years, Abraham dreamed of becoming a member of the Huxtable family in Brooklyn while his mom turned to crack and Roosevelt went to prison. During that period grandma kept the family together. When Donnel, who was more like an older brother to his younger cousin, goes to prison, Abraham is ready to give up. However, his girlfriend Kaya keeps the pressure on that education is their tickets out of the projects. His hope for a scholarship resides more on his basketball skills than his classroom success, but with encouragement he tries to improve his academic standing. HOLD LOVE STRONG is a powerful look at inner city life and survival in the projects as a poor family struggles to overcome addiction, deaths, incarcerations, and broken dreams. Grandma is the key to keeping her family together and giving hope to all even addicted Jelly and Donnel who through away an NBA career. Character driven, Matthew Aaron Goodman provides a profound family drama of living in the projects where daily existence easily snuffs out the hopes and dreams of those who want the life of the Huxtables. Harriet Klausner