• Three Girls from Bronzeville

  • A Uniquely American Memoir of Race, Fate, and Sisterhood
  • By: Dawn Turner
  • Narrated by: Janina Edwards
  • Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (226 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $22.67

Buy for $22.67

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

A New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book

A Best Book of 2021 by BuzzFeed and Real Simple 

An “unmissable” (Vogue), “exceptional” (The Washington Post), and “evocative” (Chicago Tribune) memoir about three Black girls from the storied Bronzeville section of Chicago that offers a penetrating exploration of race, opportunity, friendship, sisterhood, and the powerful forces at work that allow some to flourish…and others to falter.

They were three Black girls. Dawn, tall and studious; her sister, Kim, younger by three years and headstrong as they come; and her best friend, Debra, already prom-queen pretty by third grade. They bonded—fervently and intensely in that unique way of little girls—as they roamed the concrete landscape of Bronzeville, a historic neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, the destination of hundreds of thousands of Black folks who fled the ravages of the Jim Crow South.

These third-generation daughters of the Great Migration come of age in the 1970s, in the warm glow of the recent civil rights movement. It has offered them a promise, albeit nascent and fragile, that they will have more opportunities, rights, and freedoms than any generation of Black Americans in history. Their working-class, striving parents are eager for them to realize this hard-fought potential. But the girls have much more immediate concerns: hiding under the dining room table and eavesdropping on grown folks’ business; collecting secret treasures; and daydreaming about their futures—Dawn and Debra, doctors, Kim a teacher. For a brief, wondrous moment the girls are all giggles and dreams and promises of “friends forever.” And then fate intervenes, first slowly and then dramatically, sending them careening in wildly different directions. There’s heartbreak, loss, displacement, and even murder. Dawn struggles to make sense of the shocking turns that consume her sister and her best friend, all the while asking herself a simple but profound question: Why? 

In the vein of The Other Wes Moore and The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, Three Girls from Bronzeville is a “deeply personal” (Real Simple) memoir that chronicles Dawn’s attempt to find answers. It’s at once a celebration of sisterhood and friendship, a testimony to the unique struggles of Black women, and a tour-de-force about the complex interplay of race, class, and opportunity, and how those forces shape our lives and our capacity for resilience and redemption.

©2021 Dawn Turner. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

A New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book

A Best Book of 2021 by BuzzFeed and Real Simple 

What listeners say about Three Girls from Bronzeville

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    164
  • 4 Stars
    47
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    163
  • 4 Stars
    34
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    150
  • 4 Stars
    34
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating, in a Every-Day-Life Way

I found this book to be very captivating, not in an action way, I wasn't at the edge of my seat at any time, but in a normal, every day life way. When you lean in with your friend and they tell you a very personal story, kinda way.
They picked the right story teller, her voice is smooth and comforting, it's as if it is her own.
I couldn't put the audio away I started, what 2 days ago, and I wrapped it up already.
I found it relatable, even though we are worlds a part and found myself teary eyed, like her aunt Doris. Yet, at times I also chuckled. I am grateful to the author for sharing her story.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome

Usually when I read or in this case listen to a book it usually leaves me wondering what happened to the characters…. Not this book! It made me feel like I was building a relationship with the characters. I really enjoyed this audio book!!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Too many words

This is a worthwhile story to hear, but there’s too much mundane detail that doesn’t move the book forward. I was left also with questions about one character that I wish the author, a reporter, had dug into.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Moving And Inspiring

Beautifully written ~ the true story of two sisters and their best friend coming of age on Chicago’s South Side. Narration is fantastic.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Profound

Loved this book, Dawn Turner made me look back to my childhood and ask some of those same questions about choice, opportunities and second chances. Highly recommend

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Memoir and Narrator

This is a very well written and interesting memoir. Bronzeville in Chicago is a fairly unique place and Turner’s book captures it brilliantly. Turner also gives an accurate account of growing up in a big midwestern city during the late 60’s/early 70’s. The book was hard to put down. I HIGHLY recommend Three Girls from Bronzeville!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My home!

love it! I'm from bronzeville. I remembered everything was said in this book. Gina

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A glimpse into a life worth sharing

Dawn Turner does a fantastic job of sharing her memoir about life, love and the meaning of true friendships. Must read!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Right on time..

OMG..Where do I start. First of all, I stumbled upon this book while trying to decide between two others on which to start first. The narrator of this book (whom voice was so befitting for this story), is also the narrator for one of the other books I was about to start. Welp, I chose this book instead and am SO GLAD I did. This book hit home on so many levels because I'm from Chicago, raised in a high rise building on the north side, had two best friends - Kim & Donna, my daughter currently lives in Bronzeville, her first apt was in Lake Meadows, my parents were from the south east side of Chicago, and the list goes on. I had a relation to so many more things Dawn talked about in the book. Both my best friends are deceased, and both died young (I'm mid 40's) lol. I've been grieving & missing them SO SO much lately, which is why this book spoke to me & touched me on so many levels. I will be buying a physical copy of this book for my collection because I loved it that much!!! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this one, and was telling others to read it before I finished Lol!!! FANTASTIC BOOK DAWN :)

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An amazingly well written story, both heart warming and heart wrenching

The feelings that Dawn’s story brought up in me was both overwhelming and so satisfying. This story took me down the road of my own nostalgic childhood memories with my very first best friend in the high rise that we grew up in during the eighties in Durban, South Africa. Worlds apart and decades apart yet so similar and familiar- it’s incredulous. Thank you Dawn Turner for this incredible gift of your story.