Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Book Review

The Men of Brewster Place
Gloria Naylor
copyright 1999
number of pages: 208

In re-reading the book The Men of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor, I was moved again by the stories. I feel this book is as good, if not better than The Women of Brewster Place. In this book she tells us what happens to the men who were a part of the women who lived on Brewster Place. Through the most unlikely voice of Ben, the making of men is heard, the pain of men is felt and the struggles and defeat of men is pictured in our minds.

Through Ben, the quiet maintenance man, Ms Naylor makes The Men of Brewster Place come alive. Ben running from his past in a bottle of wine; he recounts how he got to Brewster Place. He recounts the stories of the other men like music. Some are like listening to the blues played on a piano and others are like a sad sax player crying tears of pain.

There is Brother Jerome; a man who never developed past age three in his mind; but plays the blues of every man living on Brewster Place on the piano as long as there was light. Although he couldn't express himself verbally, Brother Jerome could make a grown man cry tears like a woman.

Basil, who broke his mother's heart, comes back as someone you would not expect. The boy-man is now ready to make amends but is too late. However, even with his mother gone, with the help of two fatherless boys can he make up for all the hurt he caused in the past?

Then there is Eugene, you know Ceil's husband. Eugene is a man torn between to worlds. How can he love Ceil and love men too? Moreland T. Woods the good-looking womanizing preacher has more than women on his mind. He has big dreams and needs his church and the deacon board to make them happen. He is determined to get what he wants at any cost.

C.C. Baker the gangster is again in the mix. He chose money, power and respect over the love of family. Finally Abshu grew up in Brewster Place. When his family is split up and he is placed in foster care it leaves him wanting love and fulfillment. Abshu decides to fight for the injustice of the poor.

Did you think it was all over when the women torn the wall down. It was just the beginning. Brewster Place didn't just change the women it also changed the men. This book is a must read. The story is rich with characters you thought you loved or you thought you hated.

Review submitted by Sonya Holland

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