Kiara and her brother, Marcus, are scraping by in an East Oakland apartment complex optimistically called the Regal-Hi. Both have dropped out of high school, their family fractured by death and prison. But while Marcus clings to his dream of rap stardom, Kiara hunts for work to pay their rent–which has more than doubled–and to keep the nine-year-old boy next door, abandoned by his mother, safe and fed.
One night, what begins as a drunken misunderstanding with a stranger turns into the job Kiara never imagined wanting but now desperately needs: nightcrawling. Her world breaks open even further when her name surfaces in an investigation that exposes her as a key witness in a massive scandal within the Oakland Police Department.
***Thanks to NetGalley and Knopf for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided.
solid, good read:
The swimming pool is filled with dog shit and Dee's laughter mocks us at dawn.
From the first line, Nightcrawling draws you in. The writing style is without frills, blunt and honest and setting the scene immediately.
Nightcrawling shows the inconsistency and fragility of family and friendship in poverty. It paints a very clear picture of how the system fails those who need it most. And even when help does come, it’s often too little or too late.
This narrative’s raw honesty and vulnerability is so compelling that even though this story is hard to read, it’s definitely worth it. Kiara’s heart beats outside her body, caring for everyone around her and putting herself last. Due to this strength, she does whatever it takes to care for the people in her life. However, this empathy is a double-edged sword and the things she has to do to care for these people leave deep, horrifying scars.
Mama used to tell me that blood is everything, but I think we're all out here unlearning that sentiment, scraping our knees and asking strangers to patch us back up.
Nightcrawling is an incredible, unmissable debut novel that I could not recommend more highly.