Hold Love Strong by Matthew Aaron Goodman
Born to a 13-year-old mother in an impoverished Brooklyn project, Abraham Singleton starts off life with at least two strikes against him. The advantage that Abraham has is is strong grandmother who refuses to lose hope and his devoted extended family – uncle, aunt, cousins–that all live together in their cramped apartment. Because it’s told in the first person narration, the readers “become” Abraham from his birth until the end of the book when he is about eighteen. We feel like we live his life with him, from the joy of his first love through the sorrows of his mother’s crack addiction. The readers see Abraham’s life through his eyes, becoming immersed in his triumphs as well as his disappointments.
I was absorbed in this book from the first chapter and finished it in one weekend. Goodman’s writing is compelling, and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen to Abraham and his family next. I highly recommend to to all readers. Fans of urban drama will be especially engaged as this book has all the usual elements they crave, but in a much more realistic story.