A Taste of Honey: Stories

A Taste of Honey: Stories

by Jabari Asim

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A Taste of Honey 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
SueRidnour on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lariat List 2010, African-Americans, civil rights movement, family
VioletBramble on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interconnected short stories set in 1967-1968 , based around one African-American family and their neighbors. At the center of these stories is the Jones family, Reuben, a painter, his homemaker wife Pristine and their three sons, Ed, Schomburg and Crispus. Subjects include police brutality, domestic violence, zombies, ghosts, racism and civil rights. The first story has young Crispus introducing us to his family while other stories spread out to include their neighbors and the city. The last story includes the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr and the ensuing riots. Asim makes you care about these characters, esp Crispus, Reuben and Roderick (the boy genius of the neighborhood).This book was the best book of the month for me. It's a well written , fast read , that kept my interest throughout. Highly recommended.
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mandersj More than 1 year ago
Touted as a series of short stories, reading this novel as a whole has a much more powerful impact. "A Taste of Honey" is set in a racially divided, imaginary midwestern town, in an African American neighborhood. Some people are happy with what they've got, yet most yearn for a better life. It's the summer of 1967, and racial tensions are rising. A rash of violence starting with a white policemen beating to death a beloved, blind African-American candy store owner sets this normally quiet neighborhood on edge. Everyone has an opinion on what happened and how to stop it from happening again; whether it be the father of three trying to do right by his family by working two jobs, or the teenaged boy down the block getting straight-As in school, working a part-time job and trying to coordinate a group called 'The Warriors' to fight for their rights. Each chapter is about a particular neighborhood character, several chapters overlapping when family members and neighbors are discussed by, and interact with, the featured protagonist. The heart of the neighborhood lies in the home of Pristine and Ed Jones and their three sons, Crispus, Shom and Ed Jr. Ed Jr. is experiencing his first real romantic relationship, working part-time at the African-American grocery store, is a member of the local brotherhood alliance, and hopes to get into Harvard in the fall. Shom and Crispus, much younger then Ed. Jr., share a room where their personalities are as different as night and day. Shom, the much favored son, is rarely talked about except by Crispus, who knows he is seen as second best. Crispus has a crush on a chubby neighbor girl who sees a ghost in Crispus' house. Next door to the Jones' lives Rose and Paul Whittier. Rose has a singing voice that could invoke emotion from a stone, and Paul beats her on a daily basis to make her stop singing. But Rose will never stop singing, for it's the only joy she has in life. One day a gigantic stranger comes into their home and leaves with a battered Paul in the trunk of his car. It takes Rose a long time to believe she is finally free. The climax of the book comes when Martin Luther King is assassinated and riots break out and family members are separated. Ed Jr. is making his way back to his side of town after attending a Harvard interview when his bus is stopped by the police and everyone is forced to get off and leave on foot. Fearing rioting, people are boarding their windows, streets are being shut down and angry mobs are forming everywhere Ed looks. Will he make it home to his family? Will everyone in their respectful little neighborhood be safe? What will the world look like after this monumental event? Extremely sympathetic characters narrated in such an interesting manner make this story intriguing, leaving the reader wanting more.