Leaving Cecil Street

Leaving Cecil Street

$14.99

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$14.99

SKU: 9780060722890 Categories: , , , , , ,
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Description

A riveting tale about a back-room abortion that has devastating consequences for two teenage girls on a close knit Philadelphia block circa 1972

Block parties were king in this West Philadelphia neighborhood, especially the year Cecil Street decided to have two. These energetic, sensual street celebrations serve as backdrops to the story of best friends Neet and Shay and their families.

When Neet becomes pregnant by one of the corner boys, Shay arranges an abortion that goes terribly awry when Neet begins to hemorrhage. Neet is left unable to bear children and to Shay’s horror slips under the spell of her mother Alberta’s severe, esoteric religious beliefs. Shay is left to struggle with the grief of losing a cherished friendship, while she also bears witness to the the disintegration of her parents’ marriage. The story climaxes during the second block party, during which time it is discovered that Neet and Alberta have disappeared from Cecil Street—the holy-roller mother, Alberta, having finally been set free from the shackles of her church by none other than Shay’s father.

In one West Philadelphia neighborhood, families come together in celebration of unity and togetherness. Their block parties provide a union that serves as a backdrop for discovering the truth about themselves and the people they think they know.

Best friends Neet and Shay have depended on each other for most of their lives. However, their friendship will be tested when Neet becomes pregnant by one of the corner boys and Shay arranges an abortion that goes terribly wrong.

To Shay’s horror, Neet is left unable to bear children and embraces her mother’s esoteric yet sometimes impractical religious beliefs as punishment for her sins.

Meanwhile, Shay is left to struggle with her own growing maturity, the grief of losing a cherished friendship, and the disintegration of her parents’ marriage. The two girls eventually choose their own separate paths.Leaving Cecil Street invokes those things that are most important — family, friendship, and love.

“Heartfelt fourth from McKinney-Whetstone, who has a true talent for strong characters, effortlessly natural dialogue, and prose that flows.” “Wistful, melodious, contemplative, McKinney-Whetstone’s prose feels inspired by the tenor sax central to this story…McKinney-Whetstone’s fourth novel is remarkable for the rich development of all its characters” “Leaving Cecil Street pays tribute to the beauty of a community whose strength is proven by the tragedy in its midst…A 1969 Phildelphia summer alive with block parties, front porches and bare feet is Whetstone’s backdrop for the intricately developed characters she weaves into a story of lasting impression.” “McKinney-Whetstone’s portrayal of African American family life is sensitive and compassionate, with characters who love, work, live, and die without veering into soap opera. As in her previous novels (e.g., Tumbling), ordinary people find a strength in themselves and others that enables them to live and love more fully.” “McKinney-Whetstone’s portrayal of African American family life is sensitive and compassionate, with characters who love, work, live, and die without veering into soap opera.” “Leaving Cecil Street pays tribute to the beauty of a community whose strength is proven by the tragedy in its midst…. A 1969 Phildelphia summer… is Whetstone’s backdrop for the intricately developed characters she weaves into a story of lasting impression.” “It’s been said that Diane McKinney-Whetstone writes ‘like Toni Morrison.’ That’s not true. McKinney-Whetstone writes like herself. She creates a unique, believable black middle-class world where there are no villains — just individuals trying their very best to get through life while inflicting minimum pain on each other, or themselves…The thing about these characters is, they show up for life. They don’t leave. These people are flawed, human, engaging in the best sense. Outside of the troubles, it must have been so much fun growing up on Cecil Street.” “[McKinney-Whetstone] creates a unique, believable black middle-class world where there are no villains—just individuals trying their very best to get through life while inflicting minimum pain on each other, or themselves…. These people are flawed, human, engaging in the best sense.”

Additional information

Weight 16 oz
Dimensions 1 × 5 × 8 cm