Epub Diane McKinney-Whetstone Æ Æ Trading Dreams at Midnight Epub É Trading Dreams PDF

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 uickly learn to look after themselves fiercely reinventing their lives in the wake of Freeda's absenceTwo 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 futureShifting 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 exuisite detail our lingering ever hopeful desires for redemption and rebirth—and reminds us of the possibilities the future may still hold


10 thoughts on “Trading Dreams at Midnight

  1. says:

    I was so pleased to see that recently Lidudumalingani won the African Caine prize for his beautifully layered story Memories We Lost; a story that follows siblings as one tries to help her sister cope with mental illness It's about time mental illness is discussed properly in African and African American literature as well as literature stemming from the African Diaspora It's about time it is given a nameI noticed there is no mention of Freeda's mental illness on the GR blurb for this book neither is it mentioned on the back cover of this novel which by the way has been through some awful book cover designs and it makes one wonder why especially since this is literary fiction and all Well I'll be blunt about it Freeda didn't just disappear and intentionally leave her children stranded she had a mental disorder Her illness isn't clearly defined here but one gets the sense she struggled with schizophrenia There I've said it And I asked her to describe what she was talking about And she said sometimes she's pulled down to the bottom of inside of herself and she's stuck even though she doesn't want to be there And I asked her what's pulling her down like that and she said a strong wind that has hands and eyes big rough hands and Doberman pinscher eyes There is much said from the perspective of the loved ones but I wish I'd heard of these words from Freeda Freeda is vilified by a mother who misunderstands her ailment Her younger daughter wants nothing to do with her and it is only Neena her older daughter who understands her mind and loves her despite her flaws But even this love takes its toll on Neena who has resented her grandmother for the way she's treated her mother She relies on her sister's love and on the love she gets from her various married lovers The story moves in melancholy rhythm like that of the character Bow Peep's music and the first half especially drew my attention with its graceful prose despite some minor editing punctuation mishaps as you can see in the one of the uotes I've included Whetstone artfully maneuvers short paragraphs and long ones longer and fragmented sentences front story and back story and much of the plot lives in memory She's a writer whose other works I'd visit for sure Coincidentally the week I read this book a neighbor of mine camped out in front of my front door because her husband and his friends were in my backyard she said Later she camped out in front of my library window and talked softly to her husband who was supposedly sitting in my library A few minutes later she brought her wheelchair to my front door Prior to that she'd driven her car across my lawn and towards my front door as if her next move was to drive through I worried that things could progress This neighbor is a nice white sixty something year old so before calling anyone else her son was the first one I tracked No help there He and the family were done with her he told me because some poison had traveled to her brain I tracked a neighbor who talked her off the lawn but could not talk her from in front of my house because she was becoming increasingly agitated Now she was moving a bedpan and other things to the front of my house and talking incessantly to her best friends that no one else could see Neighbors called the cops who could do nothing Frustrated at the lack of help for someone who clearly needed medical assistance I did some research and found an adult protective service program They came along with the Sheriff and transported her to a medical center for a few days Needless to say I had a couple of sleepless nights after And no one in the neighborhood wants to talk about it Her child's mind was gone Sick her child was Her tall slender perfect child was sick in the mind What a hard tight place for a mother to be as if the air around her was suddenly coated with varnish that had hardened and she couldn't even punch her arms through to grab her child to shake her or hold her as she listened to Freeda ramble on and on about the sunrise over the euator the power of the rapids as she'd sped down the


  2. says:

    I have read all of Diane McKinney Whetstone's books so I am uite familiar with her work and style and consider myself a fan see my review of Leaving Cecil Street So much of a fan that I blindly pre ordered her new book long before a book description was available on com or it was offered via the Vine program Nonetheless after I finally read the synopsis my interest was piued and I eagerly cracked the cover to meet Nan her daughter Freeda and Freeda's children Neena and Tish Familial dysfunction is at the core of the novel commingled within the tumultuous motherdaughter relationships rooted in Freeda's battles with mental illness that causes her to wander between emotional highs and lows and in and out of her daughter's lives Freeda leaves a hole in Neena's heart when she disappears on Neena's sixteenth birthday and is not heard from again We meet Neena at age 36 returning to Philadelphia fresh from a failed con job that leaves her homeless and virtually penniless The reader is promptly and continually subjected to Nan and Neena's countless flashback seuences which were at times extremely elongated and a bit dull to gain an understanding of what occurred between then to arrive at now some twenty years later Sadly as much as the author delivered with the descriptive scenes of Philadelphia reflections of a beloved bygone era clever infusions of music and color and even a smattering of social and political nuggets it failed to endear me to the characters or plot I kept waiting for something to happen some conflict not just reflections on Neena and Nan's inner turmoil but for something to pop some build to a climax and it never materialized Even secondary characters like Tish Freeda Alfred etc seemed like mere afterthoughts which failed to develop fully or resonate with the reader Honestly I struggled to finish this book While I was tempted to skim or skip passages I did not It is a book club selection and I am obligated to provide a review for the Vine program so I wanted to be able to discuss it intelligently in its entirety and provide a fair review So while I can euate some passages to a trek through knee deep mud or a cure for insomnia I plodded my way through the novel and after four days I finally finished it and it felt like hard labor to do so It is recommended to die hard fans of the author who want to visit her latest body of work to complete their collection; however newcomers may want to pick up previous works before reading this one as it is not representative of her greatness


  3. says:

    I really enjoy Diane McKinney Whetstone's no relation work and was looking forward to her latest release I purchased the hard cover and only read a few chapters before putting it down and moving on to something else I recently found an audio version of the book and decided to finish it I was really interested in learning how Nina's story endedwould she find Frieda? Would she make amends with Nan? Would she find true love? Unfortunately this book just dragged outlong narratives and jaunts down memory lane Just when I thought I was going to find the answers to my uestions the book just ends leaving everything open endedor at least up for debate Perhaps I'll pick this title up in the future and can hopefully gain new insight on the characters and the story


  4. says:

    Excellent read So incredibly heart wrenching tale of how mental illness affects different people in different ways I must admit that I am both a fan of the author as well as books written about Philly They instantly make me envision the street and area that is all so familiar Highly recommend both this book and its author


  5. says:

    This book was slow dragging for me the first half was gripping than the latter half so I was already halfway through when I realized I didn’t like the direction the book was headed to “No matter how long you have your mother it’s never long enough”


  6. says:

    Three stars upgraded to 4 towards the end


  7. says:

    My former book club read most of this author's works years ago and I chose this title to catch up on her writing I liked this book mainly for the story centered around Nan Freeda Neena and Tish It shows how mental illness through no fault of one's own can negatively impact families throughout generations I didn't like the way no one got any counseling or help because it was so hard for Nan to admit Freeda was mentally sick Hopefully there's a seuel on the way because many details were left undone for me Like Cliff and his wife Neena and Cliff and of course is Freeda dead or alive


  8. says:

    I must say that I was deeply disappointed with this novel I am a huge fan of Diane McKinney Whetstone and I have read all of her books thus far however this is truly the worst she has written She was unsuccessful in developing a story that structurally would be enticing to the reader and organized well She did not create a good ending which was uite frustrating Hopefully her next novel will be better Her previous work is a clear indicator of what she is capable of


  9. says:

    It always startles me when I read a book finish it and then wonder what in the world did I just read That was how I felt when I finished this book I hate to say it but it was like reading a bad soap opera or something I just did not like the slow moving content the strange characters or the complete lack of a plot or a climax


  10. says:

    I generally love this author but this book was not as great to me The characters never seem to develop and that is usually what I like about this author