Tamara's Reviews > Tumbling

Tumbling by Diane McKinney-Whetstone
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's review
Jul 27, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: book-club-the-glg, library-borrow, aa-fiction, 2011
Read from July 14 to 26, 2011

** spoiler alert ** I wasn't looking forward to reading this book, in fact I was going to skip it all together. I like to read books for fun and sometimes sad stories just don't sit well with me. Not to mention stories in the 40’s and that doesn’t usually appeal to me either. But I must say, the stories of the characters started to develop so quickly. I got into this book very fast and it kept my attention to the end.

The relationships in this book are in a sad state. The wife, Noon, experienced a traumatizing event when she was young which had prevented her from ever having a sexual relationship with her husband. It took 20 years and a confession of her past to her husband's ex mistress(to Noon’s credit, she didn't know who she was talking to) to release that old demon which held her back.

Noon’s and Herbie’s children is a whole other debacle. Poor Fannie was left on their doorstep as an infant and they took her in as their own…it’s crazy, but even though it wasn’t revealed until the end of the book, I just KNEW that Ethel was Fannie’s mother…(Ethel had the long term off and on affair with Herbie). So basically the mistress left her kid on the doorstep of the baby’s daddy so she could keep on with her lifestyle.

Their second child, Liz, not so surprisingly was also left on Noon’s and Herbie’s porch. Ethel has struck again! This time, Liz is Ethel’s niece. The child had so many issues, because of her fear of abandonment and other things, Liz ate plaster from a young age until she was a adult. Years and years of eating plaster in the 40’s…if this story would have gone on, I bet she would have died young.

Of course for Ethel, Fannie and Liz, the family issues lie much deeper than Ethel just wanting to be a hoe. Ethel’s background is revealed, which kind of give some kind of insite as to why she gave both of the kids away and why she is who she is.

All of this family drama was set against the back drop of South Philly. In a neighborhood that was trying to be forced out by an impending “road” that they were trying to build. The church was also a strong presence in this story. Same as the local bar.

This story was about survival, family, love and healing. Check this book out, very good.

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