The Mothers; Brit Bennett - Penguin Audio - 2016
When The Mothers was first released in 2016, I didn't feel compelled to rush right out and read it but, that changed after recently reading and loving the author's second book, The Vanishing Half.
Set in Southern California, Nadia Turner is a 16 year old black girl with a promising future in store, a scholarship to the University of Michigan. She's a bit rebellious yet she's thrived living with her father, despite the fact that her mother committed suicide when she was only 10 years old.
The story begins with a 16 year old Nadia finding herself pregnant by the pastor's 21 year old son Luke Sheppard. Luke was once a football star, now a young man with shattered dreams as a result of an injury, he waits tables at the local diner. Too young for parenthood, Luke drops off Nadia at a clinic and pays for an abortion; he then disappears from her life but, they will meet again. What are the life long consequences of a secret of this magnitude that both have kept? It's something she hadn't even shared with her best friend Aubrey.
There's a lot to think about in this novel. There are themes such as: love, loss, family and friendship and of course, "Mothers" and motherhood: the loss of a mother, a church group known as "the mothers", older women who curtailed church/community gossip and give superficial, often unsolicited, advice. I think the author made it easy to understand how painful and long lasting the effects of losing a mother or having an uncaring mother, in the case of Aubrey really is. I did think the characters could have been explored in more depth, especially since we follow them from the ages of 16 to their mid 20s. I also felt the overall flow felt uneven at times. I'm not sorry I read this novel, but I am thrilled that I read, The Vanishing Half first - that one was perfect for me.
The audio version was read by Adenrele Ojo who did a great job.
Rating - 3.5/5 stars
I haven't read this one, but, like you, I enjoyed her latest book so maybe I'll give this one a try.ReplyDelete
The reviews are mixed Dorothy but, worth a try.Delete
I'm not sure about this one but I do remember your review on the other, it was a Five and sounded really good.ReplyDelete
This audio book sounds engaging to me. I have not read or listened to this author's work but I hope that changes soon!
It wasn't bad but, a bit of a letdown after loving The Vanishing Half.Delete
It sounds like the author got her act together after writing one novel as The Vanishing Half was so good!ReplyDelete
Yes, the reviews for this one are a bit mixed.Delete
It is often interesting to read an earlier novel in an author's work. Even if you weren't as pleased with it, you know the author, her skills, and her progress better.ReplyDelete
Yes, the author has definitely developed her craft.Delete
I agree I liked The Vanishing Half better than The Mothers, whose characters I didn't care for as much.ReplyDelete
Yes, I agree - the characters didn't draw me in like the sisters in the Vanishing Half.Delete
This one sounds like it didn't take full advantage of its potential. That's a shame.ReplyDelete
I had this one on my list when it first came out, hoping to select it for my book club but no one wanted to read it so I put it off. Then, Vanishing Half. Which was so good, so then The Mothers went back on my list. I have and will hopefully read it before 2021. Ah, 2021 sounds so nice.ReplyDelete
I liked both books. I will read any other novels she writes.ReplyDelete
I read this one a couple of years ago and thought it was very good (at the time), but I only have a vague recollection of it now! Here are my thoughts from my review:ReplyDelete
I loved all the Southern California references, especially since I used to live near many of the locations mentioned. The writing is very good and I was surprised to learn that not only is it the author's first novel, but also that she is only in her 20s. She is one to watch for!
Note: I wrote the above when I first finished the book back in April 2017. This is a perfect example of a book that impressed me when I read it, but left no lasting impression after almost a year's passage. I'm sure our move and related distractions are mostly to blame for my lack of recollection of what I considered a very good read.
I'm glad The Vanishing Act is better since I plan to read it soon!
I need to give this author a try. Her books sound like ones I would enjoy. I'm glad they've worked so well for you!ReplyDelete