November 17, 2016
"After a secret's been told, everyone becomes a prophet." ~ pg. 148
Sometimes I wonder if I am reading the same book as the front flap describes. Per the description, The Mothers is an urgent and provocative debut about community and ambition, love and friendship, and living up to expectation in contemporary black America. Um, that's not what I got out of it.
I interpret The Mothers to be about the domino effect of a rebellious 17-year-old girl grieving the loss of her mother who committed suicide. Even though Nadia Turner will be the first in her family to go to college (Go, Michigan!), she makes a series of poor decisions. First she dallies with the pastor's son, Luke, a 21-year-old former football player whose injury reduced him to being a local waiter. Bruh has no future or ambition yet Nadia starts a romance that results in a cover-up. (Bet you can't guess what that means in a black church). The secret is hidden from everyone including Nadia's best friend, Aubrey. Fast forward a few years; Nadia, Luke and Aubrey are now adults still affected by their younger selves and that damn secret.
"But we were girls once, which is to say, we have all loved an ain't-shit man. No Christian way of putting it." ~ pg. 87
Maybe because I am not a church goer (Worldwide Church of Snuggie excluded), but I could have done without the mothers aspect of the story. Their role came across as gossipy and I was tempted to skip their narrated sections of the book. I know there are church mothers out there with the best of intentions but this particular story did not need them. The three main characters could have carried the story alone. Wayment...then what would the title be? Ah, well.
"Mothers are selfish." ~ pg. 43
The Mothers reminded me how the actions in our youth shape our future. More importantly, it gives the message that the thought of "what if" can be more powerful than the experience itself. Hard truths exist. Think on that nugget while you reserve this book from your local library. In other words, it is not worth paying the $26.00 hardcover price or immediately adding to your TBR. Not taking anything away from the author's hard work in writing a debut novel; I just want to save my bookhearts their hard-earned coins. However, many of my bookhearts and blogging peers loved this book. Read it for yourself.
Title: The Mothers
Author: Brit Bennett
Published: October 2016