From the author of Halsey Street, a sweeping novel of legacy, identity, the American family-and the ways that race affects even our most intimate relationships.
A community in the Piedmont of North Carolina rises in outrage as a county initiative draws students from the largely Black east side of town into predominantly white high schools on the west. For two students, Gee and Noelle, the integration sets off a chain of events that will tie their two families together in unexpected ways over the next twenty years.
On one side of the integration debate is Jade, Gee's steely, ambitious mother. In the aftermath of a harrowing loss, she is determined to give her son the tools he'll need to survive in America as a sensitive, anxious, young Black man. On the other side is Noelle's headstrong mother, Lacey May, a white woman who refuses to see her half-Latina daughters as anything but white. She strives to protect them as she couldn't protect herself from the influence of their charming but unreliable father, Robbie.
When Gee and Noelle join the school play meant to bridge the divide between new and old students, their paths collide, and their two seemingly disconnected families begin to form deeply knotted, messy ties that will shape the trajectory of their adult lives. And their mothers-each determined to see her child inherit a better life-will make choices that will haunt them for decades to come.
As love is built and lost, and the past never too far behind, What's Mine and Yours is an expansive, vibrant tapestry that moves between the years, from the foothills of North Carolina, to Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Paris. It explores the unique organism that is every family: what breaks them apart and how they come back together.
Naima Coster is the author of Halsey Street, and a finalist for the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Fiction. Naima's stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Kweli, the Paris Review Daily, Catapult, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University, as well as degrees from Fordham University and Yale. She has taught writing for over a decade, in community settings, youth programs, and universities. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.
"Coster is an exacting observer but also an endlessly generous one... It's the individual moments that are exquisite, each chapter a tiny snapshot of a whole world. Tender but--miraculously--never sentimental." - Kirkus
"At its heart, What's Mine and Yours is a coming-of-age story--one that examines the unraveling of marriages, complexities of siblinghood and reckonings with parents... Coster portrays her characters' worlds with startling vitality. As the children fall in lust and love, grapple with angst and battle the tides of New South politics, Coster's writing shines" - New York Times Book Review
"Rare is the book that manages to be both a finely wrought character study as well as a multi-family saga...but Naima Coster's new novel does just that -- and more. Coster writes with a singular sensitivity and nuance." - Refinery29
"The complex characters will stay with you--maybe even change you." - People
"What's Mine and Yours is a once-every-few-years reading experience for me. I was completely seduced by the honesty of Coster's prose, the tenderness she has for her characters. To say Coster pulls off something special here is a massive understatement. I've placed this novel on a shelf among those most dear to me, and I imagine I'll return to it many, many times." - Mary Beth Keane, New York Times bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes