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THE WOMEN OF BREWSTER PLACE, by Gloria Naylor

As the late November winds cut across her legs and blew under her coat, Mattie shivered violently and realized that she had rushed from the house without any slip or stockings. She pulled her tweed coat closer to her neck to cut off the wind and stop her body from trembling with cold, and moved on toward the police precinct. The brick and glass building threw out a ghostly light against the thin morning air. She paused a moment to catch her breath before the iron lettering engraved over the door, and then pushed the slanted metal bar and went in.