Trading Dreams at Midnight
By Diane Mckinney-whetstone
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780688163860, 320pp.)
Publication Date: July 2008
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Fifteen-year-old Neena and her younger sister, Tish, are certain their mother will return, flush with the promise of a new man. But Freeda's disappearance on the cold February morning in 1984 soon stretches from days to months and from months to years. Raised by their stern grandmother Nan, the two sisters quickly learn to look after themselves, fiercely reinventing their lives in the wake of Freeda's absence.
Two decades later, at age thirty-six, Neena has moved away from Philadelphia and supports herself by blackmailing married men. When one of her stings goes terribly wrong, she decides to return to her childhood home. Unable to face her grandmother, Neena attempts to pull one last hustle on a prominent local lawyer. But when she learns that her younger sister has been hospitalized with pregnancy complications, she must decide how to come to terms with the woman who raised her. Reunited, Neena, Tish, and Nan each confronts her own memories of the past, and together reveal their dreams for the future.
Shifting seamlessly through time, Trading Dreams at Midnight is the story of three generations of women bound to each other by shared joy and pain. In the evocative prose that has become her signature, Diane McKinney-Whetstone captures in exquisite detail our lingering, ever-hopeful desires for redemption and rebirth—and reminds us of the possibilities the future may still hold.
Diane McKinney-Whetstone is the author of five acclaimed novels and the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Library Association's Black Caucus Literary Award for Fiction, which she won twice. She teaches fiction writing at the University of Pennsylvania and lives in Philadelphia with her husband, Greg.
“[A] poignant, multigenerational story. . . . An achingly tender portrait of familial love and pain.”