Our Gen: A Novel (Hardcover)
“Our Gen is warm and smart, accessible yet meaningful, a beach read with strong writing and emotional heft.”—BookPage
Residents of an active-living retirement community revert to lives of youthful indulgence, even as time-bomb secrets of their pasts tick toward explosion.
The Gen—short for Sexagenarian—is an upscale fifty-five-plus community located in the bucolic suburbs of Philadelphia. Main character Cynthia befriends the Gen’s two other Black residents, Bloc and Tish, as well as Lavia, who everyone assumes is from India. They regularly convene to smoke weed, line dance, and debate politics and philosophy as the wine goes down like silk. Their camaraderie is exhilarating.
But beneath the fun and froth, storms gather. With its walls of windows gushing light and air, the Gen becomes the catalyst for secrets to be exposed.
Shifting the narrative between the characters’ pasts and the present day, Diane McKinney-Whetstone deftly builds suspense as she captures with insight, poignancy, and humor, the scars, tenderness, and swagger of those not yet old, but no longer young, coming to the mean acceptance that life is finite after all, who knew.
The author of the critically acclaimed novels Tumbling, Tempest Rising, Blues Dancing, Leaving Cecil Street, and Trading Dreams at Midnight, Diane McKinney-Whetstone is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Black Caucus of the American Library Association’s Literary Award for Fiction, which she won twice. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband. For more on Diane McKinney-Whetstone please visit www.mckinney-whetstone.com or follow her on Twitter @Dianemckwh.
“Our Gen is warm and smart, accessible yet meaningful, a beach read with strong writing and emotional heft.” — BookPage
“Rooted in intrigue, humor and potential romance, though never far from heartache, Our Gen may be as close as revered and award-winning Philadelphia author Diane McKinney-Whetstone ever comes to the Beach Read section. Its main foursome—all nonwhite residents of a schmancy 55+ 'active living' community somewhere outside Philly—like to drink, crack jokes and smoke weed, but there are secrets bubbling just under the surface that may threaten the group dynamic. As always, it’s about characters for McKinney-Whetstone, and these four leap off the page with charm, vitality, and vulnerability.” — Philadelphia Inquirer
“McKinney-Whetstone has a gentle storytelling style peppered with delightful turns of phrase. Her sexagenarian characters Cynthia, Bloc, Tish, and Lavia live more boldly and more honestly than their adult-age children, and probably have more sex too.” — Glamour
“Told with tenderness, insight, and humor. . . . Diane McKinney-Whetstone details the lives of four sexagenarian residents of a suburban retirement community who revel in youthful indulgences as they grapple with aging, regret, and long-held secrets.” — Shondaland
“McKinney-Whetstone (Lazaretto) spins a funny and unsettling story set in a retirement community outside Philadelphia, where four boomers, all people of color, forge strong bonds and address the horrors of their past lives. . . . McKinney-Whetstone demonstrates a keen understanding of her characters. It makes for a refreshing view of a generation so often presented as white.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Ahhhhhh. That’s what you’re going to say when you have a cold beverage next to your chair and this wonderful surprise of a book in your lap. . . .Enjoy, and ask yourself if your book club might not be down with it, too.”
— Bookworm Sez