Kirsten's Reviews > The Street

The Street by Ann Petry
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Jul 09, 12

I own a copy

Petry has real talent with creating poignant imagery that relates the physical environment to the mood of the scene. She vividly described settings so that even the most mundane (such as discarded paper swirling in the street) seemed to take on an ephemeral clarity. Mostly importantly, this book felt real; I didn't feel tempted to dismiss it as a romanticized version of "the hard knock life". Petry deftly wove her characters together but perhaps most amazing was how she used back story to instill meaning in their interactions. Bobo, the protagonist Lutie Johnson's son, has a friendship with the superintendent of his apartment building but the relationship draws its significance from the histories and thought of the two characters.

Be warned: this book will break your heart repeatedly. At least, it certainly broke mine. But the book was so well-written and so vivid and so full of feeling and relevant social criticism that I enjoyed every heart-crushing moment.

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