Water Street 1979

Water Street 1979

by Crystal Wilkinson


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On Water Street, every person has at least two stories to tell. One story that the light of day shines on and the other that lives only in the pitch black of night, the kind of story that a person carries beneath their breastbones for safekeeping.

Water Street examines the secret lives of neighbors and friends who live on Water Street in small town in Kentucky. Love and truth and tragedy are revealed under Wilkinson's sure hand. This is a superb, cohesive work which marks Ms. Wilkinson's evolution as a gifted observer and writer.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592640553
Publisher: The Toby Press
Publication date: 02/01/2005
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Welcome to Water Street1
My Girl Mona: Yolanda5
Water Street, 1979: Junior17
In Plain Site: Jeanette35
An Ordinary Man: Reverend Townsend47
Between Men: Mouse59
The Evolution of Sandy Crawford: Sandy71
The Girl of My Dreams: Kiki85
Spoiled: Maxine97
The Fight: Toni and Candy105
Sixteen Confessions of Lois Carter: Lois119
Respite: Pearline131
Man Crazy: Mona147
Before I Met My Father: Angie155

Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions from the Publisher

  1. Much of Yolanda's discussion with her Doctor in "My Girl Mona" is about her friendship with Mona. Is she jealous of Mona? Is Mona the cause of her panic attacks? Does she think Mona is jealous of her? One is obviously the giver and the other the taker in this friendship - they seem to have outgrown each other yet they are drawn to each other. Why do you think this is?
  2. In "My Girl Mona" how does the relationship between Mona, Kiki and Junior affect Mona's friendship with Yolanda? Does it have an impact on Yolanda's 'panic attacks'? What about the way Kiki treats Mona after their 'night of sex'?
  3. In "Plain Sight" Barbara Jean claims to still 'see' her husband who has passed away. Is this just her coping mechanism or is she really 'crazy'? If she is then what about her daughter Jeanette? She eventually sees him too. What are your thoughts on the after life and spirits living among us?
  4. Why does Jeannette avoid the subject of her parents the few times she goes out with men? Why do the dates only last once after they approach this subject? Do you feel that it's out of embarrassment or fear that she'll turn out like her mother?
  5. Did the death of her husband cause Barbara Jean to somehow stop being able to mentally cope with being alone? What kind of impact did her 'breakdown' have on Jeanette? And what could her friends and neighbors have done to reach out to them?
  6. Yolanda from "My girl Mona" and Junior from "Water Street, 1979" are married. They both touch on Yolanda's insecurities. If the tables were turned and it was Yolanda who had a fling with Junior's best friend in High School but still married Junior, would Junior's same question to Yolanda be considered insecure? Is there a double standard?
  7. Reverend Townsend in "An Ordinary Man" is holding back from Ariel even though she seems to be his perfect match. Is there something that you're holding back from?
  8. In 'Between Men' when Mouse's father takes him to Kak's Bootleg House, is it to excuse his cheating on Maxine or is it a rite to passage to African American manhood? What statement is he trying to make when he takes him to his girlfriend's house? Is he saying: cheating is a part of marriage sometimes, or I'm not man-enough to face myself and either stay or go?
  9. Do you feel that Mouse is relieved that his mother finally tells Gene to go? Compare their situation to relationships that women and men have today? Do you feel that men that cheat sometimes have fathers that cheated on their mother's and they think it's okay? Do you feel that Gene is finally relieved when she confronts him that night?
  10. Jacinda urges Sandy to get in touch with her spirit in "The Evolution of Sandy Crawford". How have you found a way to get in touch with your spirit?
  11. Kiki recalls many of the women he's slept with that will also attend his wedding in "The Girl of My Dreams." Mona also goes down memory lane in "Man Crazy". What were your reactions to the two accounts? The same? Very different? Is your reaction based on gender? Is there a double standard?
  12. One of Lois' confessions in "The 16 confessions of Lois Carter" is that she is a chameleon - she has many selves. She slips into her white self and her other self in the company of her black friends. How many selves do you have?
  13. Angie preferred her 'make believe' father to her real one in "Before I met my Father." In life is the illusion sometimes, always better than the real thing?
  14. Water Street could have easily been a novel but the author chose to have stand-alone stories of people living on the same street. Does seeing the same characters appear, even very briefly in other stories other than their own give the reader more insight on the character?
Compiled by Mwabi Murdock and Doretha Burton of Mahogany Book Club in Lexington, Kentucky

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Water Street 1979 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book! Crystal writes in the fashion of gayle Jones and Gloria Naylor!! Her voice brings back childhood memories. The characters are so full of life that you'll swear you know them.