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There are one million new books published each year. With so many books and so little time, where do you begin to find your next must-read? There’s the New York Times Bestseller list, the Goodreads app, the Cape Library’s Staff picks shelf and now Martin’s Must-Reads.Every Wednesday at 6:42 and 8:42 a.m., and Sunday at 8:18 a.m., Betty Martin recommends a must read based on her own personal biases for historical fiction, quirky characters and overall well-turned phrases. Her list includes WWII novels, biographies of trailblazers, novels with truly unique individuals and lots more. Reading close to 100 titles a year, Betty has plenty of titles to share.Local support for "Martin's Must Reads" comes from the Cape Girardeau Public Library and the Poplar Bluff Municipal Library.

Martin's Must Reads: 'Three Girls from Bronzeville'

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“Sometimes I think about the girls Kim, Debra, and I once were, and it astounds me the paths we took. I used to believe that it was their daring that led to their undoing and that ours was a story about choices - three girls who made vastly different ones. But it’s really a story about second chances. Who gets them, who doesn’t, who makes the most of them.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and those are lines from the last page of Dawn Turner’s biography Three Girls From Bronzeville: a Uniquely American Memoir of Race, Fate, and Sisterhood. Turner, an award-winning journalist and novelist, shares her life growing up in Bronzeville, Illinois, in a twenty-four story apartment building under the watchful eyes of her mother, grandmother and aunt.

Kim was Dawn’s younger sister and Debra was her best friend beginning in third grade. As the book progresses Turner shares the life choices each young woman made and where those choices took them. One becomes an accomplished journalist, one dies at age twenty-four and one spends twenty-one years in prison.

As the book jacket says this “is a piercing memoir that chronicles Dawn’s attempt to find answers. It’s at once a celebration of sisterhood and friendship, a testimony to the struggles of Black women, and a tour de force about the complex interplay of race, class, and opportunity - and how these forces affect our lives and our capacity for resilience and redemption. “

If you’re looking for a well written memoir that revolves around a family of Black women who support each other through good times and bad, then you must read Three Girls from Bronzeville by Dawn Turner.

Betty Martin was born in Boston, Massachusetts to a Lutheran pastor and his organist wife. Betty’s love of books was inspired by her father who read to all four children each night.