REESE’S BOOK CLUB PICK • “[A] richly textured and deeply moving debut” (The New York Times Book Review, Editors’ Choice) about one unforgettable Southern Black family and its youngest daughter’s coming of age in the 1990s.
“A triumph . . . Redwood Court is storytelling at its best: tender, vivid, and richly complicated.”—Jacqueline Woodson, New York Times bestselling author of Red at the Bone
“Mika, you sit at our feet all these hours and days, hearing us tell our tales. You have all these stories inside you: all the stories everyone in our family knows and all the stories everyone in our family tells. You write ’em in your books and show everyone who we are.”
So begins award-winning poet DéLana R. A. Dameron’s debut novel, Redwood Court. The baby of the family, Mika Tabor spends much of her time in the care of loved ones, listening to their stories and witnessing their struggles. On Redwood Court, the cul-de-sac in the all-Black working-class suburb of Columbia, South Carolina, where her grandparents live, Mika learns important lessons from the people who raise her: her exhausted parents, who work long hours at multiple jobs while still making sure their kids experience the adventure of family vacations; her older sister, who in a house filled with Motown would rather listen to Alanis Morrisette; her retired grandparents, children of Jim Crow, who realized their own vision of success when they bought their house on the Court in the 1960s, imagining it filled with future generations; and the many neighbors who hold tight to the community they’ve built, committed to fostering joy and love in an America so insistent on seeing Black people stumble and fall.
With visceral clarity and powerful prose, Dameron reveals the devastation of being made to feel invisible and the transformative power of being seen. Redwood Court is a celebration of extraordinary, ordinary people striving to achieve their own American dreams.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Witness a decade in the life of a Black working-class family. This warm and honest first novel from poet and activist DéLana R. A. Dameron is narrated by Mika, a young woman born in 1985 whose grandparents, Teeta and Weesie Bolton, claimed their bit of the American dream when they bought a home in Columbia, South Carolina, in the late ’60s. As Mika transitions from a child into adulthood, her family and community are a constant source of strength and understanding. Subtly smart and utterly authentic, Dameron’s storytelling finds room for gentle humor as her characters attend cookouts, plan funerals, and even take phone calls from prison. Anyone who’s ever observed the grown-ups from the kids’ table will relate to Redwood Court.