Grkchkruns's Reviews > The Street

The Street by Ann Petry
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's review
Dec 09, 2011

really liked it
Read in December, 2011

This book is about the streets of Harlem, and the difficulties in getting off the street for blacks. Particularly, Lutie Johnson gets an apartment on 116th St. and hates it from the get-go. She has a little boy to raise and is afraid he'll get sucked in by the gangs, drugs etc. that keep the black people from getting out of the neighborhood. It's interesting how she feels about white people. The cast of characters includes another tenant, Mrs. Hedges, the superintendent, and his live-in girlfriend Min. Oh yes, and Boots and the owner of the nightclub, a white man. Good character development on all. Interesting time period, the 40's. Lutie had not one extra cent of disposable income, wants desperately to have a better life for herself and her son, and gets caught up in a twisted web of circumstances that make her beholding to Boots and the nightclub owner. I wished that she had seen other options for herself and Bub, but then we wouldn't have a story, would we. She would create negative scenarios for every solution based on her attitude towards white people. I found the book gave an interesting perspective, and was well-written.

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