Nubian Circle Book Club

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Coldest Winter Ever - Sista Souljah

Phyllis Rhodes

The Coldest Winter Ever is a great debut novel for Sista Souljah.  The story revolves around the life of a fifteen year old Winter Santiaga, the beautiful, spoiled daughter of a powerful Brooklyn drug lord.  Her world of designer clothes, ghetto respect, and bling-bling bankrolls comes to an end when her father gets caught in a neighborhood sting.  We then watch the supposedly street-wise Winter plot, scheme, and lie in an effort to save herself and her family.  Her driving purpose is to return her family to the top of the drug-infested empire. 

The book has a wonderful cast of supporting characters that symbolically represent the good, the bad, and the lost.   Sister Souljah's writing style is straightforward, somewhat raw and honest; the story flows very well (it is a page turner indeed).

The NCBC was somewhat disappointed at the conclusion of the novel.  Some members of the book club are parents and educators and were looking for answers or at least suggestions on how to reach and teach the Winter Santiagos of the world.  The ending is somewhat bleak in fact there is no happy ending perhaps that is the point of the story.   We concluded that maybe Sister Souljah's purpose in writing this book was not to reach or teach the parents, but to directly confront the Winter Santiagos by holding a mirror up to their faces to show them the ugliness, shallowness, and stupidity of such a lifestyle.  If this was her intent then she has succeeded.

The Nubian Circle Book Club rating for The Coldest Winter Ever is 4.5 Stars.