Another Brooklyn, by Jacqueline Woodson

September 19, 2016

Jacqueline Woodson’s children’s book Brown Girl Dreaming, which won the 2014 National Book Award, demonstrated how well she knows the complexities of being a young adult. Her new novel for adults—about race and grief and bodies—tugs its readers into empathy with the teenage characters as they grow up in 1970s Brooklyn. “When you’re 15, pain skips over reason, aims right for marrow. . . . When you’re 15, the world collapses in a moment.” The narrator, an anthropologist who studies death and mourning rituals around the world, re­counts an emotionally conflicted childhood through recollections of the three friends who became family to her. As the four girls dance their way into friendship and maturity, the plot’s backdrop unfolds gradually to reveal losses and loves that are at once tender and graphic.