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Brothers and Sisters

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  4,226 ratings  ·  70 reviews
The phenomenal New York Times bestseller, now for the first time in trade paperback. Living and working in Los Angeles, a young African-American woman finds herself torn between loyalty to her race and her commitment to a cause.
Paperback, 480 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by Berkley Trade (first published 1994)
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 ·  4,226 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Felice Laverne
Bebe Moore Campbell’s Brothers and Sisters, originally published by Putnam in 1994* in the aftermath of the Rodney King beating, is a true testament to what I wish we could see more of on bestseller lists today. Published during an era of growing racial tensions (though what era doesn’t have that?) and political outspokenness through hip-hop music, this novel brought to life the realities of being an educated and successful modern-day African-American woman. Stereotypes were debunked and ...more
mark monday
Mar 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
Campbell knocked it out of the park with the wonderfully empathetic, unsentimental, and moving Your Blues Ain't Like Mine... sad to say, she struck out with this sad affair. assorted bathetic shenanigans and sundry soap operatic histrionics fail to coalesce into anything worthwhile; about as striking and interesting as dishwater.
Jun 25, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't understand all the praise. This book is awful. Flat, stereotyped characters. Jerky timelines and POV's that switch suddenly and clumsily. I keep having to backtrack to check where we are in time and whose head we're in. How exactly do you smack yourself in the head so hard that it "reverberates in the empty room" (that we've already been told isn't empty) or tremble so hard somebody can't hold on to you? Take a minute and picture those things, seriously. Hamfisted, overdramatic, ...more
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a GREAT book it teaches about self-esteem, how men can sometimes have a certain "control" over a womans mind that makes her either believe that she is "worth-it" or not. BROTHERS AND SISTERS touches subjects such as how minorities (Blacks, Hispanics...WOMEN) have a difficult time "moving-up" in the corporate world, especially women and the trials and tribulations they may incur, i.e., having to work twice as hard to prove ones qualifications and hitting the "glass ceiling." There are so ...more
Ashley Teagle
I think Bebe Moore Campbell tried to cover a lot of ground in this book. I think a lot of what she did with Esther and Mallory's friendship was exaggerated but real in many ways. I make the same argument for Humphrey Boone and Esther as upwardly mobile black folks in the modern day.

This was a book that I appreciated not having all the loose ends tied off. I felt like this was a book about people in progress and having they open endedness allows me to be hopeful for them all.

Even to this day, I
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a slow start for me...I had to force myself to read past page 100.

However, the patience paid off! This story is truly captivating once the characters are well established and start to intermingle.

I think this book holds a new relevance with today's issues and news.

Dec 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bebe Moore Campbell delivers sooooo much with this book. Even though it's a lot of book to read; it never falters and you even want more at the end. The way Campbell effortlessly tackles so many themes and draws readers in to all of these characters is amazing. I would recommend this book to ANYBODY regardless of race or gender. This is also a timeless book as race relations and professional politics will remain relevant. Things kicked into high gear at the end and it was great! I would have ...more
I did enjoy the settings & themes of the book, but I felt the story progressed way too slow, & at 544 pages, the book could've been shortened of some of the filler. Also, Esther was the epitome of 'angry Black female' & it began to annoy me how cliché her character became. Still, the issues are as relevant now as they were in the book's settings of 1993, and the writing skills of Bebe Moore Campbell are excellent.
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
The L.A. riots. Most people on the west coast at least probably remember them pretty vividly. I was just a kid. A white kid who had just moved back from Mexico and was shocked by this thing called racism. Not that there isn't prejudice south of the border, but it was never anything like this. I felt weird in my own skin, where I had been a minority before (in number only- there were never any negative consequences to this) now I was part of the majority- an ugly majority that even as a child ...more
Jan 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book was long...and trying to sum it up by theme the closest things I could say was that it was about ambition. What do you want to be, how far do you want to go and what would you do to get there. It doesn't matter what level of education or background the characters had, they all wanted something and were faced with moral dilemas on how to achieve these goals. Some of the character may have been a little sterotyped but most were representative of people I have encountered. This book ...more
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Sonya by: Familiar with her work and wanted to read more
Excellent book, wonderful writer. I was so sad when Bebe Moore Campbell passed away, she was so talented and said what I think a lot of people were afraid to say about race relations in America. This is my story and others as well in a lot of ways and a book that is still relevant to this day! I wish Mrs. Campbell was still with us as I would have loved to see what she would have written post President Obama's election. I like how this book let's no one off the hook and does not cast all the ...more
Mar 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: fiction
From Publisher's Weekly:
Campbell's intriguing (if not always three-dimensional) cast of characters reveal the fears and hopes of people caught in a web of shrinking opportunities and institutionalized stereotypes of race, class and gender. Adroitly using the great racial divide of Los Angeles, this absorbing novel explores the intricacies of experience, knowledge and bias which perpetuate inequalities and segregated lives.
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing

This was an excellent book! It is a must-read for anyone in corporate America or any working person, for that matter. It is very insightful about race wars and cultural differences, allowing the reader to think about situations from more than one angle. However, it is not biased towards any ethnic group. I enjoyed this book thoroughly but it left me wondering what became of Lakeesha & King. I think I know...
Jun 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved reading this book - the characters all felt so real. The story was fantastic from beginning to end. Definitely one of those books that I had a hard time putting down. I would highly recommend it.
Abby Frucht
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I so enjoyed this book. It's an accessible, entertaining, smart, fun read that openly addresses racism and sexism in the white collar workplace. It was published in 1994; I can only hope that the situations it describes with so much wit and passion are at least in part no longer current.
Sep 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Bebe Moore Campbell is a favorite author. I enjoyed how this book looked at racism from all sides- you become so enthralled in the lives of her characters. I was a bit disappointed with the ending, though.
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book that explained microaggressions and intersectionality before we'd coined the words. Brilliant and powerful look at the rage of a successful black woman continuously stymied by sexism racism, and well-meaning whites who just don't get it.
Nikki C.
Jun 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Very thought provoking book, especially for women in corporate america. However, the book was too long and took too long to tell a rather non-complex story. But, I did enjoy it.
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
this was an awesome read as well. as i read this book, i imagined myself as if i was there in the movement.
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have always been a big fan of Bebe's work, and I was finally able to get my hands on a copy of this book to read. As usual, her writing did not disappoint. One of my favorite things about Bebe Moore Campbell's work is the various viewpoints and perspectives she fuses into her work. Nobody is always good, or always bad and as a reader she incorporates many different viewpoints into the story to form a much broader picture of her characters and her worlds she created.
Marilyn Sue Michel
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was published in 1994, so it was written not long after the "civil incident" in Los Angeles, 1992. The story is well written and lengthy at 544 pages. While racial factors are portrayed with sympathy for persons of color, part of the story deals with sexual harassment of a white woman by a powerful black man. It is unfortunate that these problems continue to plague us. A good book if you like one that is long, with a mildly revolutionary ending.
While I enjoyed the depth of some of the characters and overall story line, there were just too many technical flaws with the novel. Campbell provides an excessive amount of detail which makes it tiring to read because of how unnecessarily long it is; and POV shifts are often random and abrupt which makes the story hard to follow.
Nov 08, 2017 rated it liked it
This book didnt age well at all. The things that were talked about in the book was still relatable as far as race relations in America. Some of the language and storylines were cringy. Overall, I liked the book and most of the characters.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you live in the City of Angels, you simply must read.
Jan 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Set in L.A. in the aftermath of the 1992 "Rodney King" riots, this story addresses the assumptions, fears and self protective attitudes that roadblock greater interracial communication and understanding.

Few people who did not grow up in an interracial household or deal with somehow straddling two cultures could have such insight. BeBe Campbell Moore, through her characters, respectfully, honestly and compassionately reveals the inner thoughts of people of 3 or 4 races in what I believe to be
May 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
544 pages. Donated 2010 May.

Brothers and Sisters is set in the white-hot center of racially troubled Los Angeles, still healing from the deep scars of riot, violence, and suspicion. At the story's heart is Esther Jackson, an African-American who has built a promising career at a downtown bank. When a black man is hired as a senior vice-president, Esther is heartened - until his interest in a white officer at the bank percolates into sexual harassment. Esther is forced to choose between
Mar 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I recommended this book to a friend who now uses it in her college race relations course. Her students are lucky. This is not the type of "textbook" I got when I was in school. The author, Bebe Moore Campbell, reveals the fears and hopes of people caught in a web of shrinking opportunities and institutionalized stereotypes in Los Angeles during the aftermath of the Rodney King beating. It's hard to put this one down so put your tea on your nightstand and get yourself comfy while you escape deep ...more
Dec 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting book. Set in the time of the riots after the Rodney King/Reginald Denney beatings. What is interesting is how the author strategically tied in the racism Esther is dealing with at work and in her personal life with Esther herself discriminating against her own boyfriend. Each character is creatively developed to show how each of them has their own prejudices. This was my first Bebe Moore Campbell book. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from this author.
Jul 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read this book about 13-15 years ago, I think....I remember really liking it though. At the time I was zipping through Terry McMillan's novels, which I also enjoyed, and I thought she had a fresh voice and perspective. I need to re-read this, but I have bought it as a gift for younger cousins etc -- good for older teenagers.
I happened to be in the process of reading Brothers and Sisters when I encountered Bebe Moore Campbell at the annual Harlem Book Fair several years back, so this is one of the few books I own that is autographed by the author. Not so much a review as a useless tidbit of information. :-)
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Bebe Moore Campbell (February 18, 1950 – November 27, 2006), was the author of three New York Times bestsellers, Brothers and Sisters, Singing in the Comeback Choir, and What You Owe Me, which was also a Los Angeles Times "Best Book of 2001". Her other works include the novel Your Blues Ain't Like Mine, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and the winner of the NAACP Image Award for ...more
“My color is my joy and not my burden...” 24 likes
“the important thing is not to point a finger at flaws but to attempt to correct them!” 11 likes
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