Deploying multiple voices does diminish the depth of character development, but Coster’s cast of characters is unique, creating a tapestry that allows the various individuals to explore a past they may try to escape but can’t leave behind completely. Despite its sprawling time line and multiple perspectives, the novel remains an intimate portrait of families shaped by love, motherhood, race, and class.
... the book's many plot lines radiate around an integration plan that brings students from the predominantly Black east side into the high school of the mostly white west ... The book's rangy unfolding takes place from the early 1990s to the present day and hopscotches back and forth from the suburbs of Atlanta to Paris to Los Angeles to the small Southern city of Noelle and Gee's youth. The point of view rotates from one character to another, allowing Coster to depict their complex situations and moral ambiguities with depth and compassion.
At its heart, What’s Mine and Yours is a coming-of-age story — one that, in its foreground, examines the unraveling of marriages, complexities of siblinghood and reckonings with parents. Beneath it all lie tragedy and myriad loves that are tender and rich and fraught ... At times, with its shifting points of view, this multigenerational saga can become somewhat unwieldy. There are few surprises. And yet, in this predictability — where the narration depicts the unavoidable messiness of adolescence — Coster portrays her characters’ worlds with startling vitality ... Its witty and cutting dialogue is reminiscent of an early Gloria Naylor, and the dynamics of sisterhood are not unlike the works of Julia Alvarez ... It is in this space between them where Coster, who writes with unflinching romance, wills us to examine all the ways we come to unlove our beloveds, our families and ourselves.