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You Know Better: A Novel
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You Know Better: A Novel

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  355 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
As the tiny town of Mulberry, Georgia, celebrates its spring Peach Blossom Festival, things are far from peachy for three generations of Pines women.

Eighteen-year-old LaShawndra, who wants nothing more out of life than to dance in a music video, has messed up again -- but this time she isn't sticking around to hear about it. Not that her mother seems to care: Sandra is too
ebook, 336 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published April 2nd 2002)
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(showing 1-30)
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May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book when it was first published and it was very much like my family. African American women have lots of commonalities when it comes to family. We believe in God and the spirits of our ancestors and it will seem strange to many, unless you had a mother or family members who taught you about the power of prayer and faith and believing in what we cannot see. I have a MLS plus 45 and am ABD but I still believe in what my mother taught me long ago and Tina tells our story well. It may s ...more
This is the first time I ever read or heard about this author (after listening to a radio program with her on it). However, as I start the first few pages, there's so much redundancy via paraphrase or re-wording going on...I'm like 'got the point' already!

Up to 75 pages, I cannot do it any longer...for me the flow is awkward, and even though the main character in first person keeps reverting to her granddaughter "Lashawnda" and her daughter "Sandra" and the comparison of their upbringing, differ
Okay, so anyone who knows me knows that one of my favorite books is "The Hand I Fan With". I cannot tell you how many times I have read that book! Anyway, I was very let down with this one. Even though it takes place in Mulberry and has the same element of magical-realism, I just could not get in sync with these characters. All of them, well maybe not the grandmother, but the daughter and her mother just felt so false to me. I don't know why, but they made me sick. Their tones felt off, their la ...more
Jan 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wanted to read more books by this author because I enjoyed Ugly Ways so much. Proving to be just as good and intriguing. She is a master at expressing human emotion. Finished this book yesterday. After a while I got tired of the 3rd main character. Her language even got on my nerves as it did her Mother's and Grandmother's, i.e. coochie, ho, etc. The similarity of the book to the three Christmas angels and Scrooge was great. Book was thought provoking in the sense of what we all talk about now. ...more
Nov 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Authors should stick to one narrative voice if they have a specific agenda or lack the ability to truly see life from different points of view. Mama Mama and her talented tenth, can-do spirit was the only characterization that didn't seem steeped in the author's judgements.

Three ghosts/angels was too derivative too.

There was some decent prose and an intriguing world was built.
Jan 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When LaShaundra's grandmother is woken up from a dead sleep she knew something was wrong. Her grand baby was in trouble. She sprang into action immediately. She drove around town for a while until she saw an old lady she swore passed away months ago. She gets help protecting her grandmother along the way. All the while she doesn't know that this time Shandra is in deeper trouble than ever before.
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in the lives of women of color
Recommended to Cheryl by: no one have read other books by her
I really like Tina McElroy Ansa's novels. They are serious, wise, and often funny explorations of contemporary African American women and the help that they get from women and men who have crossed over but give needed guidance and love to these women. I really recommend other boos written by her.
Lindsay McLean
Apr 01, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fiction
Somewhat predictable. However, I am all for the themes of telling yourself the truth and bettering your story.
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Tina McElroy Ansa is a novelist, publisher, filmmaker, teacher and journalist. But above all, she is a storyteller. She calls herself "part of a long and honored writing tradition, one of those little Southern girls who always knew she wanted to be a writer." She grew up in Middle Georgia in the 1950s hearing her grandfathers stories on the porch of her family home and strangers stories downtown i ...more
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