Another Brooklyn is not a very long book, and I read it in a single sitting. Even as I was reading it I was looking forward to the next time I get to read it. It’s the story of August, who moves to Brooklyn in the 70s with her father and brother after her mother dies. She meets and befriends three other girls: Gigi, Sylvia, and Angela. The book starts with August’s return to Brooklyn as an adult when her father dies, where she runs into Sylvia on the subway, before flashing back to when August was 8 and first moving to the city. The story follows them through adolescence and we learn what becomes of them as adults.
On the surface, I have nothing in common with August and her friends, and it’s a testament to the power of Jacqueline Woodson’s writing (seriously. . .she’s the best) that I identified so strongly with the four girls and their bond. There is no other experience in life like that of the fierce sisterhood that comes with being part of a girl gang. This book made me remember the girls that were part of my formative years. The five of us lived a very different kind of life than August and her friends, but the essence of the friendships were the same. It’s something that feels almost impossible to describe, but somehow Woodson captures it.
I don’t always like this kind of coming-of-age story, but this book is beautiful and poetic. I loved it and I can’t wait to read it again.