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Jenna Bush Hager selects 'fresh new novel' for March 2021 book club pick

"The story is epic in scope. It is about understanding the demons and the hardships that come before us and how they affect our lives."
/ Source: TODAY

It's almost hard to believe that the Read With Jenna book club has been uniting a community of readers for three years now. After 18 New York Times bestselling picks such as "Dear Edward" by Ann Napolitano, "Leave The World Behind" by Rumaan Alam and "White Ivy" by Susie Yang, Read With Jenna is poised to introduce readers to even more new and exciting stories this year.

For this month, Jenna Bush Hager has selected "What's Mine and Yours" by Naima Coster as her March 2021 Read With Jenna pick.

"'What’s Mine and Yours' by Naima Coster is a sweeping, fresh new novel," said Jenna.

Book of the Month is a subscription-based book club that delivers hardcover books to your door at an affordable price. The first month is $9.99 with the code “READWITHJENNA,” and after that, it’s $14.99 a month.

Each month, subscribers choose one of the five featured titles of the month with the option to add-on up to two additional books for $9.99 each. As of Jan. 2020, the #ReadwithJenna pick will be available as an add-on option for subscribers. You can easily pause your subscription at any time or skip a month and roll your credit from one month to another. Just so you know, TODAY has a relationship with Book of the Month Club, so we make a share of revenue from purchases and subscriptions to Book of the Month Club.

The book is about two American families, specifically two mothers, each fighting for a better future for their kids.

"As a mother myself, I related to the mothers' fierce love for their children even when they made mistakes," said the TODAY book expert. "Nobody understands us like our families, even when imperfect."

Set in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, the book introduces readers to Lacey May and Jade. The mothers find themselves on opposite ends of a debate when their community begins to bring students from the largely Black neighborhoods on the east side of town into high schools on the west side, which are predominantly white.

Lacey May’s daughter, Noelle, and Jade’s son, Gee, cross paths while participating in a school play meant to bring students together. As their lives become intertwined, their mothers make choices that will haunt each of them, even into their adult lives.

"The story is epic in scope. It is about understanding the demons and the hardships that come before us and how they affect our lives," Jenna said.

Coster added, "The book is also very much about the desire to belong and how powerful that is for all the characters."

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"What's Mine and Yours" started as a short story about Lacey May. "It was a story about the lengths that a mother will go to, to secure a good future for her children," explained Coster.

From there, Coster started writing about a second mother, named Jade. "The book really grew from the two mothers, their dreams for themselves and also their dreams for their children," said the second-time novelist.

With the two mothers, the author explores how their decisions can ripple through a family for decades. Their stories start in their small North Carolina town, but then expand into other places, as Noelle and Gee grow up and leave home.

"We see how families rise and fall together," said Jenna, "I felt like it was really current and also like something I had never read before"

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