In one West Philadelphia neighborhood, families come together in celebration of unity and togetherness. Their block parties provide a union that serves as a backdrop for discovering the truth about themselves and the people they think they know.
Best friends Neet and Shay have depended on each other for most of their lives. However, their friendship will be tested when Neet becomes pregnant by one of the corner boys and Shay arranges an abortion that goes terribly wrong.
To Shay's horror, Neet is left unable to bear children and embraces her mother's esoteric yet sometimes impractical religious beliefs as punishment for her sins.
Meanwhile, Shay is left to struggle with her own growing maturity, the grief of losing a cherished friendship, and the disintegration of her parents' marriage. The two girls eventually choose their own separate paths. Leaving Cecil Street invokes those things that are most important -- family, friendship, and love.
About the Author
Diane McKinney-Whetstone is the author of five acclaimed novels and the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Library Association's Black Caucus Literary Award for Fiction, which she won twice. She teaches fiction writing at the University of Pennsylvania and lives in Philadelphia with her husband, Greg.