The Reader's Bar discussion

27 views
Open for Discussion > March Book Discussion: Halsey Street

Comments Showing 1-36 of 36 (36 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1410 comments Mod
Please post your comments/questions about this book below.


message 2: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1410 comments Mod
Has anyone started this book yet? If so, what are your first impressions? I am still waiting to get a copy from the library.


message 3: by Maria (new)

Maria Cole (mccole0221) | 32 comments Still waiting on mine also...


message 4: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1410 comments Mod
Maria wrote: "Still waiting on mine also..."

Ok. Good. At least I am not the only one. lol


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm waiting too.


message 6: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Alleyne | 75 comments So I started it and got to around chapter 4. I like it so far but I want to move it along a little quicker. I have all these questions about her mum and why the main character seems so lost in the beginning of the book. I like the way the author writes as the imagery is very vivid. Having lived in Brooklyn a couple years BEFORE gentrification, I find myself thinking (some fondly) of the memories her writing and description evokes. I will be honest and say I didn't pick this book because I thought the story seemed boring but it's not bad at all.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Carolyn wrote: "So I started it and got to around chapter 4. I like it so far but I want to move it along a little quicker. I have all these questions about her mum and why the main character seems so lost in the ..."

Carolyn-thanks for the good news. Glad you're enjoying it. I'm looking forward to it too.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Library line is moving soooo slow. Doubt that I will have this before the end of the month.


message 9: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1410 comments Mod
Carolyn wrote: "So I started it and got to around chapter 4. I like it so far but I want to move it along a little quicker. I have all these questions about her mum and why the main character seems so lost in the ..."

I see what you mean about the book. I would like to know the answers to those same questions. I am just hoping that the pace of the story starts to pick up soon.


message 10: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1410 comments Mod
MsG wrote: "Library line is moving soooo slow. Doubt that I will have this before the end of the month."

Oh man! I hope that you get it soon.


message 11: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1410 comments Mod
Has anyone got their hands on a copy of this book? If so, what are your first impressions?


message 12: by Maria (new)

Maria Cole (mccole0221) | 32 comments Yes it finally came in. I’m hoping to dig into it tonight. First impressions are that it’s interesting. My curiosity is peaked so I’m hoping to have time to dig deeper tonight.


message 13: by Maria (new)

Maria Cole (mccole0221) | 32 comments I’m through chapter 4, it’s moving a little slow but I like it. I’m appreciating the artistry of it and her details about everyday items that seem to give them new life. I have a big block of time tomorrow and hope to finish it or get through most of it.


message 14: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1410 comments Mod
What are your initial thoughts on the Grands? Penelope? Mirella? Ralph?


message 15: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1410 comments Mod
Maria wrote: "I’m through chapter 4, it’s moving a little slow but I like it. I’m appreciating the artistry of it and her details about everyday items that seem to give them new life. I have a big block of time ..."

I also think that it is very slow moving which is making it hard for me to get through it. I am pressing on though. lol I am on chapter 7 and hope to read for most of the rest of today.


message 16: by Maria (new)

Maria Cole (mccole0221) | 32 comments I really like Penelope. I can identify with her more than I care to admit - lost and wild in my 20s with Mommy issues... Ralph seems to have some depth that hasn’t been tapped into yet based on Mirella’s reflections... I’m intrigued to finally meet Mirella. First, I didn’t pick up on Penelope being AfroLatina initially and am starting to wonder how complicated it may have been for her mother being an immigrant, disenchanted, and raising a mixed race child. Wondering if her issues may be deeper than that though so I’m looking forward to getting more into their individual back stories


message 17: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1410 comments Mod
Maria wrote: "I really like Penelope. I can identify with her more than I care to admit - lost and wild in my 20s with Mommy issues... Ralph seems to have some depth that hasn’t been tapped into yet based on Mir..."

I am also looking forward to learning more about the character's back story. Especially to find out more about Penelope's relationship with her mother and what caused her mother to leave.


message 18: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1410 comments Mod
What do you think of the author's description of Brooklyn and the change that it is going through?


message 19: by Maria (new)

Maria Cole (mccole0221) | 32 comments Denise wrote: "Maria wrote: "I’m through chapter 4, it’s moving a little slow but I like it. I’m appreciating the artistry of it and her details about everyday items that seem to give them new life. I have a big ..."

Yikes! Guess that means it doesn’t speed up


message 20: by Maria (new)

Maria Cole (mccole0221) | 32 comments Denise wrote: "Maria wrote: "I really like Penelope. I can identify with her more than I care to admit - lost and wild in my 20s with Mommy issues... Ralph seems to have some depth that hasn’t been tapped into ye..."

Hmmm... I don’t really have a frame of reference. Never been to the state. Was born and raised in Chicago and saw similar things. It’s still a huge socioeconomic issue here in Dallas too. What I notice about myself is that as she’s describing the differences I can see the beauty and the usefulness in having for instance a health food store. When I see or think about my hometown or my present one I only correlate gentrification with negative consequences for residents. But like the principal says I suppose there are buried advantages as well... not sure - not totally sold on that yet.


message 21: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1410 comments Mod
Maria wrote: "Denise wrote: "Maria wrote: "I’m through chapter 4, it’s moving a little slow but I like it. I’m appreciating the artistry of it and her details about everyday items that seem to give them new life..."

Not really. lol I am only on chapter 7 though. Not too much farther than you.


message 22: by Maria (new)

Maria Cole (mccole0221) | 32 comments Finished the book, feeling a bit unfulfilled and bored. There were many places that the author could have painted enhanced pictures talking about the music and New York and Ralph’s connection to the neighborhood. Or more fully delved into the psychological implications of race and how it contributed to the distance between the characters. Overall it was a decent read. Much better towards the end


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Completed chapter 6. Ready to start chapter 7 and find out more about Mirella and Grands.


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Denise wrote: "Has anyone got their hands on a copy of this book? If so, what are your first impressions?"

A lot of reminiscing and people feeling sorry for themselves.


message 25: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1410 comments Mod
Maria wrote: "Finished the book, feeling a bit unfulfilled and bored. There were many places that the author could have painted enhanced pictures talking about the music and New York and Ralph’s connection to th..."

Oh man! Sounds like there is no hope for this one. The weekend was crazy and I have not had much time to read. Maybe I will get back to it tomorrow.


message 26: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1410 comments Mod
MsG wrote: "Completed chapter 6. Ready to start chapter 7 and find out more about Mirella and Grands."

I am glad that you finally got your copy from the library.


message 27: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1410 comments Mod
What do you think of the Harpers? What do you think of their parenting style? Their relationships with each other?


message 28: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1410 comments Mod
How has Mirella's and Ralph's upbringing influenced their lives as adults? How did this impact their relationship with Penelope?


message 29: by Maria (new)

Maria Cole (mccole0221) | 32 comments Denise wrote: "What do you think of the Harpers? What do you think of their parenting style? Their relationships with each other?"
I'm drawn to Mirella. She really grappled with erasure and culture in a way that most people dont put words to. It becomes the expectation that Hispanic is exotic and when people start to treat like a token despite her willingness to work and sacrifice for what she wanted I dont think that she knew how to deal with it all. I dont think that she behaved appropriately or treated anyone in her life well but I think that her upbringing and psychological development (or lack thereof) influenced how she managed her adult relationships as a wife and mother.


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

I have not had a lot of time to read lately. A page here and there. But I am going to continue because I have a lot of questions:
Why are the Harpers so weird? Her explanation for renting the attic-ghosts?
Why did Mirella leave?
How did her and Ralph meet? What was the draw?
Why does Penelope hate her father's house so much that she don't want to stay there?
Seems like the author revealed these things slowly and within the chapters.


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Maria wrote: "Denise wrote: "What do you think of the Harpers? What do you think of their parenting style? Their relationships with each other?"
I'm drawn to Mirella. She really grappled with erasure and culture..."


I like the way you put this.


message 32: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1410 comments Mod
Maria wrote: "Denise wrote: "What do you think of the Harpers? What do you think of their parenting style? Their relationships with each other?"
I'm drawn to Mirella. She really grappled with erasure and culture..."


I agree also. What do you think of her reunion with her daughter?


message 33: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1410 comments Mod
MsG wrote: "I have not had a lot of time to read lately. A page here and there. But I am going to continue because I have a lot of questions:
Why are the Harpers so weird? Her explanation for renting the attic..."


You will eventually get the answers to your questions but it will take some time. lol


message 34: by Denise (new)

Denise | 1410 comments Mod
Were you left with any unanswered questions at the end of this book?


message 35: by Maria (new)

Maria Cole (mccole0221) | 32 comments MsG wrote: "Maria wrote: "Denise wrote: "What do you think of the Harpers? What do you think of their parenting style? Their relationships with each other?"
I'm drawn to Mirella. She really grappled with erasu..."

I hated it. Although I was proud of Penelope for not investing too much emotion in someone who couldn’t love her the way she wanted to be loved I wish she would have opened up more. I don’t know that it would have made an immediate difference but she could have left her daughter with some lessons about love and life or something else. It seemed so unfinished and unhappy the way that they left it.


message 36: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Alleyne | 75 comments I was so hopeful for this book because I liked how it started out with the imagery and it brought back interesting memories for me as to how Brooklyn used to be. Then it all went downhill. The main character had no redeeming qualities. Penelope never acknowledged her part in the lack of relationship she had with her mother, even though her father admitted to his shortcomings in his relationship with his wife. I agreed it left everything so open ended. I think it was hard for Mirella to leave her family but she felt there was nothing left for her in Brooklyn. Her husband didn't seem to care if she was around or not since he lost his precious store, and her daughter was so self-involved, she never could understand her mother. Moral of the store is I did NOT enjoy this book at all!


back to top