African American fiction. A wonderful narrative voice you may have read in her earlier books, TUMBLING and BLUES DANCING SHOES.
It is 1969 and Cecil Street is feeling some kind of way, so the residents decide to have two block parties. The energetic and sensual street celebrations serve as the backdrop for the story. Joe, a former sax-player, has turned his eye to the newly arrived young southern beauty though haunted by his memories of his horn-playing nights and his affection for a shy, soft lady of the night from years ago.
Joe's wife, Louise, a licensed practical nurse, is losing her teeth to gum disease, and her joy. She knows that Joe's attention has wandered. Their teenaged daughter, Shay, is consumed with helping out a neighbor who has gotten pregnant by a neighborhood boy. Neet's own mother, Alberta, is shunned by the entire block because of her immersion in a religion that has no name.