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If You Come Softly (1998)

av Jacqueline Woodson

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
9194617,684 (4.04)25
After meeting at their private school in New York, fifteen-year-old Jeremiah, who is black and whose parents are separated, and Ellie, who is white and whose mother has twice abandoned her, fall in love and then try to cope with people's reactions.
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Reading this for the first time twenty-one years after its 1998 publication, the kids in If You Come Softly seemed impossibly, bittersweetly innocent to me in so many ways. Did they seem so then? It's hard for me to know. Still, their story (which Woodson says began as a modern reimagining of Romeo & Juliet) feels universal, and Woodson tells it in a beautiful, nuanced, perfectly paced way. ( )
  CaitlinMcC | Jul 11, 2021 |
For the majority of this novel I thought I'd rate it lower. It was decently written and made me feel for the characters but didn't seem aimed at me (at the younger end of YA). Then the book made its point and helped open my eyes in a way I didn't expect. It is worth reading to have that epiphany. ( )
  drwilko | Nov 17, 2020 |
Book 1 of Life's Library (John Green's online communal book club). It is a lovely but tragic YA novel written 20 years ago, but is still very prescient today. A modern quasi-retelling of Romeo and Juliet. Ellie a young white girl from an affluent family going to a prep school in NYC. Jeremiah is a black basketball star from an equally affluent (albeit broken) family who is just starting at the same prep school. They are immediately drawn to each other, but wary of letting their friends and especially family know of their budding relationship. It touches upon race and acceptance and in the wake of Black Lives Matter, could have been written today. Like all good tragedies, it ends as expected.

This was a very easy/quick read and I'm certainly not the target demographic, but it was a worthwhile read.

7/10

S: 12/26/18 - 1/1/19 (7 Days) ( )
  mahsdad | Jan 1, 2019 |
Miah, a black boy, starting a new school runs into Ellie, a Jewish white girl. They feel connected and start a relationship. They keep their relationship a secret because they know their parents will not understand because of their different color. Their future seems bright and hopeful until one day someones bad judgment call ends the life of one of them.

I picked this up because of John Green’s new life’s library book club. I am not a big fan of contemporary novels but I do read them from time to time. The characters did grab me and I did fall for Ellie and Miah. I felt Ellie’s pain when she mentioned to her sister about dating someone of color and her sister was against it. Miah parents were not as tolerant on the subject of interracial coupling either. I feel there was a lot more pain in this book then the love Ellie and Miah shared and that made the ending sadder.

I disliked one thing about the book and that was that the very first chapter basically tells you how the book ends. Even though I loved the characters getting to know each other and their relationship with their own family there was still that little voice in the back my head saying, “Yeah but so and so is going to kick the bucket.”

I do think Woodson is a fine author. For a book that is 20 years old and still relevant is in some ways a good thing for an author but because of the theme it is very sad it is still something the world deals with daily. ( )
  lavenderagate | Dec 31, 2018 |
In If You Come Softly, Jacqueline Woodson tells the story of Elisha (Ellie), a Jewish girl living in Manhattan, and Jeremiah (Miah), an African American boy living in Brooklyn, who go to Percy prep school and fall in love. The story itself is loosely inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, with both Ellie and Miah coming from well-to-do families in their respective communities, the dualism of light and dark, Miah’s cousin Carlton loosely filling in the Benvolio role, and even a prologue that similarly summarizes the story’s significance for the reader before it begins. Those similarities aside, Woodson’s story easily stands on its own, telling a story that remains relevant twenty years after its first publication. The issues of race and Miah’s awareness of the weight it imparts, coupled with Ellie’s discussion of not noticing her own race as a result of white privilege, easily explains a concept that so many informed adults continue to struggle with. The way Miah code-switches depending on his location captures something that most writers might ignore but that adds believability to the story. While many English teachers continue to use Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, I would argue that Woodson’s novel should take its place in the curriculum. She manages to evoke feelings with the minimum amount of description so that older readers find themselves recalling their first stirrings of love while younger readers will find the characters infinitely more relatable and understandable. The book, like Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give, should be on every American’s reading list. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Dec 17, 2018 |
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For the ones like Jeremiah
The Alexander - Grossman Family
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My mother calls to me from the bottom of the stairs, and I pull myself slowly from a deep sleep.
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If you come as softly
as the wind within the trees
You may hear what I hear
See what sorrow sees

And if you come I will be silent
Nor speak harsh words to you.
I will not ask you why, now.
Or how, or what you do.

We shall sit here, softly
Beneath two different years
And the rich earth between us
Shall drink our tears
He wondered where that stuff went to, where love went to, how a person could just love someone one day and boom-- the next day love somebody else.
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After meeting at their private school in New York, fifteen-year-old Jeremiah, who is black and whose parents are separated, and Ellie, who is white and whose mother has twice abandoned her, fall in love and then try to cope with people's reactions.

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