Halsey Street by Naima Coster

Halsey Street

A modern-day story of family, loss, and renewal, Halsey Street captures the deeply human need to belong—not only to a place but to one another.Penelope Grand has scrapped her failed career as an artist in Pittsburgh and moved back to Brooklyn to keep an eye on her ailing father. She’s accepted that her future won’t be what she’d dreamed, but now, as gentrification has completely reshaped her old neighborhood, even her past is unrecognizab...

Details Halsey Street

TitleHalsey Street
Release DateJan 1st, 2018
PublisherAmazon Digital Services LLC
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Cultural, African American

Reviews Halsey Street

  • Diane S ☔
    3.5 The oftentimes complicated relationship between mother and daughter is fully explored in this wonderful novel, that takes us from Brooklyn, New York to the Dominican Republic. This is not a quick read, the pace is rather slow in fact, but it covers the gentrification of a neighborhood, the disintegration of a marriage, and of a daughter who may wait too long to reconcile with her mother. What made this a special read for me is that I could pi...
  • Cynthia
    In the end, I wanted to shake both Penelope and Mirella hard, and then pull them into a hug. Both beautifully flawed, complex, and dynamic characters. I'm still gathering my thoughts on this one, but I can't wait for everyone to read this come January.-----Full review 12/23: Looking back, it is fitting that I binge-read Halsey Street the same weekend that I binge-watched She's Gotta Have It, the Spike Lee-directed television series based on his f...
  • Christina Kline
    In this lovely novel, Naima Coster captures, with depth and nuance, the yearnings, ambivalence, and insecurities of a woman on the brink of adulthood. In the process of healing old wounds, Penelope Grand must mend complex fractures in relationships with her estranged mother in the Dominican Republic and her father in Brooklyn. An exceptional debut that limns the perils and hard-won pleasures of connection.
  • Vivian
    From my editor's letter:If you are bilingual like I am, you know that your brain can work on two parallel paths simultaneously. Both paths tell the same story but in a different way. It’s no coincidence that I was thinking about this experience while devouring Naima Coster’s debut novel, Halsey Street. The main character, Penelope Grand, flits between parallel worlds—her mother’s in the Dominican Republic and her father’s of jazz and re...
  • BookOfCinz
    I wanted to love this book. I wanted to let everyone know how amazing this book was. I wanted to sing praises about this book but it just fell flat. I felt the book was slow, the character development was limited and I generally just lost interest 30% in. Hasley Street is told from the perspective of Penelope, a failed artist who is currently living in Bed-stuy and seeing all the gentrification taking place. She is trying to find her footing in a...
  • Dominique
    It was great reading about Brooklyn and the setting is so familiar that I somehow felt connected to the characters. Connected enough that they all left me feeling annoyed and depressed. The protagonist Penelope is incredibly lonely, and so that's my starting point to understanding her behavior and choices. There's an avoidable mistake in here that I still can't wrap my mind around what purpose it serves for the characters involved because it hone...
  • Janani
    4.5First published at The Shrinkette. Thanks so much to Netgalley and Little A Books for providing me this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Plot: Penelope Grand is a young black failing artist who moves back home from Pittsburg to take care of her ailing father, Ralph. Her old neighborhood has been gentrified and taken over by affluent white people, and her mother Mirella left them to return to the Dominican Republic. So when Penny moves int...
  • Valerie
    Halsey Street wasn't a book I loved from the beginning, but rather, a story that caught my attention about 1/3 of the way through. It's about so many things which may have been the source of my initial feelings about it. However, what finally pulled me in is Naima Coster's masterful decision to mix past and present perspectives as the story progressed. (view spoiler)[It wasn't until reading glimpses from Mirella's point of view that the everythin...
  • Gabrielle
    3.75 stars. Halsey Street had all of the elements that I love in a good novel: a woman of color navigating the world, complicated family dynamics (especially mother/daughter relationships), and multiple character perspectives, but still something was missing. Each of the main characters were deeply flawed which is not a bad thing, but they each remained selfish and unchanged throughout the story. The structure of the book was a bit disorienting t...
  • Gabriella
    Naima Coster’s debut novel centers around a family in Bed-Stuy and the Dominican Republic, whose members know loss as well as their backyards, and have learned to hold nothing sacred because of it. The POV characters, Penelope Grand and her estranged mother Mirella, are especially skeptical—of marriage, of hometown nostalgia, and even of maternity. I enjoyed reading Halsey Street right after Another Brooklyn, since they're both reflections of...
  • Joel Nygard
    I tried, and then I tried some more to slog thru this book's main characters' unhappiness and selfishness because I was sure there would be growth and reconciliation ..eventually. 68% through I gave up, and I never give up on a book. I love reading immensely. I couldn't relate to the characters. I couldn't understand how they were supposed to be strong, good women when they were so petty, immature and selfish and antisocial, yet so stupidly depen...
  • Evette
    “Halsey Street” is the first book I’ve read about Black families since “The Turner House,” and it was worth it.
  • Stacy
    Review coming soon.
  • Yasmin Silva
    Wow... 12 hours..couldnt put it down.A book has never done this to me.. I'm from Williamsburg.. Born in Park Slope and moved here when i was 3.. This book had a heartbeat. The cover and title drew me in.. In tears.. Superb.
  • Mell
    I'd rate this 2.5 stars. The book isn't terrible, but the combined effects of the writing's very slow pace and the awfulness of the characters' actions to one another made the story feel like a chore. This was Kindle First read.The author accurately captures the sometimes tedium of everyday life and family obligations. And I enjoyed reading about the Dominican Republic, Brooklyn, and the controversies of gentrification. Some readers are gushing a...
  • Britta Böhler
    Bloated writing and the story is filled with too many stereotypical female (and male) characters. Pity.
  • Faith Bee
    As I closed the last pages to Halsey Street i find myself in tears, looking around at my own stark roomfilled with boxes I'm not sure I'll unpack as I don't know my next move. Halsey Street is a reminder that however close to thirty I am, I don't have to be done. I can be a work of art, I can be imperfect,the art will come, even after we’ve given up on it.That line stuck out to me:“She didn’t know how long he would remain patient with her, ...
  • Kate Klassa
    Halsey Street is an unflinching look into broken family relationships and the reality of gentrification. Set in the rapidly "progressing" Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn, Halsey Street follows Penelope, a failed artist, as she returns home to care for her estranged father after he falls ill. As she attempts to find stability in her return to her old neighborhood and in her landlord's family, her life is upended again after receiving a postcard from her moth...
  • Afoma Umesi
    Halsey Street is a strong debut novel that will cause you to ponder about family, motherhood and what community really means. Although it might ruffle feathers especially on the topic of gentrification, Halsey Street is compelling, necessary and thought provoking. Full review at http://www.afomaumesi.com/2018/01/01/...
  • Imi
    3.5 stars. This wasn't a book I fell in love with straight away, but it grew on me and the ending was so beautiful that I had to knock it up a star (or a half, if we could). A frustrating read at times. This is due, firstly, to the pure stubbornness of many of the characters, which leads to predictable, inevitable scenarios that the reader can see coming from a mile off. It also, I felt, made the plot feel fairly repetitive. The other reason I fo...
  • Tuti
    impressive debut about a young woman, penelope grand, who returns to her neighborhood - bed-stuy, brooklyn, after one year in art school and some shattered dreams, to be closer to her ailing father. the neighborhood is changing, gentrification is taking place, people have to leave, stores close - as has the record store of ralph grand, penelope's father, making place for white people and fancier stores who can afford the higher rents. both penelo...
  • Kim
    Some books simply speak to you. That was the case for me with Halsey Street by Naima Coster. Penelope's story of leaving Pittsburgh and returning home to Brooklyn to keep an eye on her father, whose health has deteriorated almost as much as their family home on Halsey Street. The Brooklyn Penelope returns to is undergoing gentrification. All the old businesses, including the record shop her father owned, have disappeared, as have many of the neig...
  • clm
    I don't like these peopleThe writing is excellent. The references to gentrification, art school, Dominicans in NYC, etc. are all well explored. However, except for a child and a bartender, this is a cast of the most (both quantity and quality) self-centered people I have ever encountered in a novel, and they don't make much progress toward redemption.
  • Jan
    Promising debut dealing with a young woman and her fraught relationship with her mother. Great settings in the Dominican Republic and a gentrifying Brooklyn, but I found the character of Penelope really problematic.
  • Black Carrie
    Mad I wasted my time going to get this book I want to support black authors but its so hard when the shit doesn't make sense, or keep your attention,
  • Nia Forrester
    So amazing. Listened to this one on Audible, which I think may have only enhanced the experience (can't minimize the importance of a good narrator). More of a review to come, but this was a memorable book. I'm so excited that this author seems to have only just begun. I hope she's actively working on another novel.
  • Naeemah Huggins
    I'd been circling this book for a while. My reading tastes change by the year. Reviews today can be so negative or ambiguous and I didn't want to invest time in another book that I wouldn't finish but from the time I started playing it, it took me 1.5 days to listen to 12 hours.This book was different to me, gritty, real, palpable and real life. I felt like a voyeur into Penelope's life and struggles. They were wonderfully complex and intricate a...
  • Cynthia Marie
    A beautifully written novel that gets 5 stars especially because of my love for Black women and our stories told lovingly and carefully by Black women. The narrative felt familiar and relatable. And the Jazz references, oh the Jazz!
  • Renita D'Silva
    A poignant story of homecoming and secrets and family bonds.