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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.1 out of 5
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  • Great fiction debut

    ★★★½ “The book, I think, is about this central question of how girls grow into women when the female figures who are supposed to usher you into womanhood aren’t there. How girls come of age with that absence. And it’s about how communities are shaped by loss, this thing I keep writing about—how in moments of grief, community can be both a source of comfort and a source of oppression. My main character feels this responsibility to her community yet wants to escape it at the same time. And I was interested in this complexity, as well as the experience of being a young black woman in a community that expects a lot of her, in a world that expects very little.” I found the above insight in this online interview with the author and I think it summarizes The Mothers theme beautifully. Overall, I liked The Mothers and especially enjoyed reading the relationship dynamics written into this story in terms of family, friendship, church body, and a conservative small town. I appreciated Brit Bennett bringing attention to gender double standards, role expectations, and negative self-fulfilling prophecies. This was an interesting read that was both entertaining and thought provoking. If you enjoy reading a variety of themes within the literary fiction and women's fiction genres, check it out! My favorite quote: “Was that all it took, kneeling at the altar and asking for help? Or did you have to invite everyone in on your private sorrow to be saved?”

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    8 person found this review helpful

    8 people found this review helpful

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • One of the best books of the year

    This debut is nearly perfect. Bennett writes with a gentle authority, pulling you into an engrossing narrative that has powerful, resonating undertones. It’s rare to find a book this good, this true, that on the one hand is about the aftermath of an abortion, but on the other is about simply (“simply,” ha) defining who you are, especially in relationship to your family, your community, and your past, younger self.

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Mothers

    I did enjoy reading this book - wonderfully human and flawed characters.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

  • Insightful Story of Teens Becoming Adults

    The debut novel from the author of THE VANISHING HALF, THE MOTHERS is a deeply moving story of friendship among three troubled high school students and the ways in which they change and evolve over the next fifteen years. But while the story focuses on the teens, it’s interestingly narrated primarily by “The Mothers” — the experienced, senior women who play such a vital role in the local church. Self-appointed do-gooders, they monitor the lives of those in the congregation, often providing assistance, sometimes meddling, always passing judgement, and occasionally causing real mischief. Now, meet the three teens: NADIA - Adrift after the recent death of her mother and distant from her grieving father, Nadia has trouble fitting in. Smart AND beautiful, she aspires to go away to college but some of her behaviors put that goal at risk. AUBREY - After a childhood filled with trauma and now living with a supportive and loving sister, Aubrey turns to the church community to find stability. Naive, eager to please and good natured, she earns the affection of all who meet her. LUKE - As the minister’s son, Luke carries some unwanted responsibilities that feel awkward to a teenage boy who only wants to play football and explore his sexuality. As the “church mothers” observe these three teens age into adulthood and speculate about the shifting relationships among the three— readers watch as all three make mistakes, struggle to forgive (themselves and each other), and explore the true meaning of love and friendship. A very insightful read into the nature of being human.

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