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Hardcover Friday Nights at Honeybee's Book

ISBN: 0385334281

ISBN13: 9780385334280

Friday Nights at Honeybee's

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

Everyone who's anyone in the Harlem music scene has heard of Honeybee McColor and the famous Friday night gathers that fill her brownstone to bursting. In the early 1960s, nowhere but "The Big House" attracts so many renowned jazz and blues musicians--and no one but Miss Honeybee attracts such talented lost souls as Forestine Bent and Viola Bembrey. The two women come from opposite worlds: one from the Brooklyn projects, the other from the Baptist,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings



Friday Nights at Honeybee's

This story is joyful and heartfelt simultaneously, exciting as well as realistic. It was gripping to the extent of not wanting to put the book down and to continue into the lives of the characters. Reading about the lives of the two women that was vividly told, I found that I was able to relate to parts of their lives. Parts that were sad as well as celebrated. I cried, laughed and felt the many different emotions that were expressed through the characters. I wish that I were there at Honeybee's house to experience some of the joys, food, music and ambience of the house. This book is worthy of five stars and more. The new author Andrea Smith has the techniques and skills to inspire further contributions to literature.

Chasing a Dream

Forestine and Viola are two women with very different lives but similar dreams. Forestine grows up in Brooklyn, in a home she feels less than welcome in, with a dream to one day become a singer. As Forestine grows older, her dream to become a singer is her only true passion, quite often at high costs. Viola is raised in the country, the daughter of a preacher and his "proper" wife, she is less sure of what she wants out of life but knows she will have a hard time finding it in the small constrictive town in which she was raised. Miss Honeybee was from the same small town, Jasperville, North Carolina that Viola is from but made her escape to New York City where she built a life for herself that the people in Jasperville talk about in hushed voices. Honeybee's "gathers" have become notorious as a time where there is good food and good music come together, almost any musician of any merit has passed through Honeybee's home at some point to take part in a "gather". Through Honeybee both women overcome heartbreak, find healing and ultimately discover themselves.This tremendous story will take you back to a time where jazz was in full swing, and carry you through to a time when the music form became overshadowed by its more contemporary counterparts. While you are immersed in a world of music, you are also drawn into the lives of the characters as they experience, heartbreak, love, sadness and happiness. Andrea Smith's eloquent writing, gives the story just the right literary flair to keep you engrossed in the world of gathers and gigs, taking you back to another time. Emotions run high in the story and as you become more drawn into the story; you can't help but experience the ups and downs right along with the characters. Saying I highly recommend this book would be an understatement, it will no doubt be one of the best reads of the year.Reviewed by Stacey Seay

The Big House

On a Friday night at Honeybee McColor's you will find a "gather" which includes good food, good conversation and good music among some of the best black musicians in Harlem. Set in the early 1960's, Friday Night At Honeybee's is a musical anthology of that time.This story revolves around two characters that arrive at Honeybee's brownstone after literally running away from home. Told in alternating chapters, Forestine Bent and Viola Bembrey are running from the consequences of their actions in their homes. As a child Forestine always relished the music around her. She practiced with the best and dreamed about a life of singing and traveling. Her Achilles heel is her narrow-mindedness. Viola has an angelic voice but was relegated to life as a deacon's wife. One incident had her branded and forced from her southern hometown. Viola, provided with the name and address of Honeybee McColor, arrives in Harlem under duress and fear. Together, these two woman deal with their demons and their guilt to form a friendship rich in loyalty. With the assistance of Honeybee, Willa and Vernon, the other inhabitants at Honeybee's brownstone, Forestine and Viola definitely come into their own as woman of that time. This is an interesting novel told in a fluid, symphonic and dramatic tone. Ms Smith provides the reader with Forestine and Viola's family history, which guides the reader in understanding their plights. The reader is also provided with a wealth of musical knowledge as it pertains to the history of blues and finally jazz. This is an excellent portrayal of 1960 Harlem, its music and the musical accomplishments of that time.Reviewed by Dawn R. Reeves, APOOO BookClub

One of the best books I've ever read

Two female singers who live in two different worlds are drawn together -- their lives take unexpected turns and they're forced to grow and learn and hurt and love in a manner that celebrates and/or examines their existence.I loved everything about this book. The author's descriptions make you feel as if you're in NYC, in the 60's, smelling the smells of greens and potato salad, and listening to the sounds within the clubs - the loud musical instruments, the moans of jazz songs, and the funny/naughty/down-home conversations.Vibrant characters, a compelling plot, and plain old good storytelling make Friday Nights at Honeybee's a commendable and highly recommended read.
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