T s written very legantly Though it tackles topics that could asily be handled preachily they never come off that way It never feels as if judgment is being passed on anyone which is very important to me in narratives about abortion and religion The characters are simply living and we re just matching them do it Chelsea Hensley from The Best Books We Read In October 2016 This book is something special sage and sad and spectacular Focused on a church that acts as both center and centrifuge for a black Southern California community The Mothers follows a trio of young people as they make decisions about their future and live in the aftermath of those choices The structure and plotting are genius letting you dive deep into a particular character at some points and slide between them in fragments and fractures at others The book is narrated by the church mothers lderly women who see all and have seen it all as their periodic reports from their century of black womanhood make clear a conceit that works so well it hurts When I wrote a recent post on books about finding your place in the world I hadn t read The Mothers If I had it would have featured grandly among those other fantastic titles This is a book about how the choices you make and those made for you shape the lovely hopeful tragedy of your life Derek Attigfrom The Best Books We Read In May 2016 The ntwined lives of three teens in an African American community in Southern California Nadia whose mother recently committed suicide and Aubrey whose mother has chosen her boyfriend over her and Luke the pastor s son Personal demons young love and growing up to find you still long for that which you left behind A decision impossible to take back but that will fill Nadia with regret the Upper Room chapel and the Mothers those older church ladies who seem to see and know verything Gossip and opinions they and Nadia are our narratorsI belong to a subscription service called uarterly and Hot Shot (North Ridge Book 3) every three months an author curates the box Brit Bennett was the curator for this box and she included personal notes on stickies placed in various places in the book Greatly added to my readingxperience as she Math Basics 6 explains where she got some of her ideas some of her thoughts when writing She based our narrators the mothers on the most judgmental people she knew If you read the book you will see what a great job she didI was thoroughly drawn into this story it felt so identifiable so realistic and so true The mistakes we make when we are young are sometimes hard to forget fill us with regret a longing to go back and change things Of course we can t we must learn to move forward as do the three young people in this novel uite a touching and memorable first novel The Mothers is an outstandingngaging debut novel The story follows two teenagers Nadia and Luke who fall in love as teenagers and how they come together and fall apart over the years This is also a novel about a community and a church community and a friendship between Nadia and her best friend Aubrey and the sorrows of motherless girls I loved the voice and the storytelling and how Bennett is able to hold the story she wants to tell together over the course of a decade The one part of the novel that didn t work for me was the collective voice used throughout the novel to represent the mothers of the Upper Room church community I could see what the writer was going for but the conceit felt really forced most of the time like it was a meta narrative being forced onto a story that could stand all on its own This is going to be one of the best books published this year and is one you re going to want to read Out in October It s never asy for me to be the lone dissenting voice in a chorus of much respected reviewers who have lauded The Mothers as one of the finest books of 2016 Yet for me this debut novel is classic xample of the The First Ghost emperor has no clothes The book on three teens Nadia whose mother killed herself for unknown reasons her boyfriend Luke and her best friend Aubrey who is pious andstranged from her own mother The title of the book is very apt because this book deals with
all kinds of mothers mothers who left mothers who were left wannabe mothers and a Greek chorus of older church going kinds of mothers mothers who left mothers who were left wannabe mothers and a Greek chorus of older church going who judgmentally comment on the goings on in the communityThe Greek chorus using the third person we has been used successfully by Jeffrey Eugenides in Virgin Suicides and in Joshua Ferris Then We Came to the End among others When used ffectively as it is here it s a powerful tool And there s no doubt that Brit Bennett can tell a good storyThe premise of that story is found in a blurb on her book jacket must we always live in servitude to the decisions of our youngest selves and to the communities that have parented us To buy into that premise as presented by Ms Bennett we must believe this that an abortion at age 17 is so xtraordinarily Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits!: 4 Keys to Unlock Your Business Potential emotionally traumatic that it overshadows future accomplishments and relationships and causes someone to act compulsivelynough to betray a sister of the heart and one s own deeply held valuesOne xample here s Nadia ruminating obsessively about the fetus she aborted Baby no longer a baby now a toddler reaching and grabbing Pulling at her arrings until she unhooks his chubby fingers Baby hungry always for her face Baby growing into a child learning words rhyming at words from a car seat on the way to school And here s Luke speaking to Nadia Dave his counselor says he s in heaven right now And your mom s holding him I didn t buy it for the record my own beliefs are both pro life and pro choice which are not separate On a gut level I did not understand Nadia s inability to let go of Luke despite his abominable behavior following her abortion and the many circumstances that intervened I did not believe in Luke s transformation and his Humanism eventual connection to Aubrey I do not believe that we are hostage to our pastsI have struggled with this uestion did my own biases color my reading of The Mothers It s a fair uestion but I think not If the novel were stronger it might have taken me out of my own belief system and put me right into the head of the main characters Onexample of this happening was Salvage the Bones That book has at its core pit bull fighting which I thoroughly despise Yet the writing was so strong that I could understand the characters motivations something I never thought I would Smokin' Hot ever be able to doSo here s what the crux of it is for me I did not believe the characters were uite nuancednough nor did I buy into their motivations I also thought that some of the plot twists were very predictable hmmmtwo best friends and a boy Wonder if there will be a triangle relationship Again I am an outlier in my reactions to The Mothers and I don t for a minute think that my own reading xperience is or should be the definitive one 250 stars Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel From Beginning to Bookend Nadia Turner is introduced to unimaginable grief as a teenager None of the vices she turns to as coping mechan. Ourning her own mother's recent suicide she takes up with the local pastor's son Luke Sheppard is twenty one a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner They are young; it's not serious But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance and the subseuent cover up will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth As Nadia hides her secret from veryone including Aubrey her God fearing best friend the years move uickly Soon Nadia Luke and Aubrey are full fledged adults and still living in deb. .
Isms have any real conseuence until her dalliance with the pastor s son Luke Sheppard forces her to make a difficult decision The byproduct of their liaison is something Nadia keeps to herself Lasombra even withholding it from her best friend Aubrey Evans But the secret follows Nadia into adulthood ultimatelynsnaring Luke Aubrey and Nadia in a distressing game of What if Nadia Luke and Aubrey s stories are relayed by the Mothers a group of lderly woman who run the prayer circle at the Upper Room Church They hover above the story like sages imparting divine wisdom to readers while passing judgment on the characters Their presence gives the story hell to the yeah so much complexity all wrapped up in such a tiny package and with a riveting story too hard to believe this was a debut tbh A girl nowadays has to get nice and close to tell if her man ain t shit and by then it might be too late We were girls once It s xciting loving someone who can never love you back Freeing in its own way No shame in loving an aint shit man long as you get it out of your system good and Wanton Nights early A tragic woman hooks into an aint shit man or worse lets him hook into her He will drag her until he tires He will climb atop her shoulders and her body will sag from the weight of loving him It does not matter where you are planted How can you grow straight and strong if some of your deepest roots have been ripped out If the cords that nurture are cut before completing their mission The Mothers is a story of absence a tale based on what is not there and secrets about what is Nadia Tu I d rate this between 4 and 45 stars closer to the latterThere s an incredible sense of longing that pervades Brit Bennett s terrifically compelling debut novel The Mothers There s longing for love of all kinds maternal romanticven the love of good friends a longing for answers a longing to find one s place in the world and a longing for truth But getting what you think you want doesn t always make things turn out rightNadia Turner is smart destined for a future far better than her parents had But at the While My Soldier Serves end of her senior year of high school her mother s unexpected suicide throwsverything off kilter Her relationship with her father was never completely stable and now he can t look at her for fear he s reminded of what he has lost As she tries to make sense of this loss she begins a relationship with Luke Sheppard the son of the pastor of her church a once golden star athlete whose injury nds his future dreams leaving him waiting tables at a local restaurantFour years her senior Luke knows his relationship with Nadia is wrong but he finds comfort in it Nadia wants from Luke than he can give she wants him to take her home to his parents to hold her hand in public but instead they must keep verything secret But when she gets pregnant she knows the last thing she wants is to be tied to her hometown she s planning to attend the University of Michigan and isn t going to let anything much less a baby hold her back Although Nadia makes the decision how to handle things she s unaware of who has their hands in the aftermathShe spends the summer before college dealing with the conseuences of her decision and she befriends Aubrey Evans a girl whose mother also abandoned her although due to ಪರಿಸರದ ಕತೆ Parisarada Kathe estrangement not suicide Aubrey and Nadia develop an intensely close bond yet there is one secret thatach girl never reveals to the other secrets that affect them at The Fiend Next Door every turnshe too understood loss how it drove you to imaginevery possible scenario that might have prevented itWhen Nadia leaves for college she doesn t come home for several years and when she does all of her relationships are complicated than they were when she left What does she want to relive the past or continue building a life completely devoid of connection to what she s known Can we really outrun the secrets we try to put behind us no matter whom they may hurt The Mothers is showing up on a number of year nd best lists and I certainly can see why Bennett has created a narrative rich with motion secrets and yes lies and that sense of longing that I mentioned at the start of my review makes this story பொன்னியின் செல்வன் - புது வெள்ளம் even richer While thelements of the plot aren t necessarily uniue the puzzle pieces come together with
*great skill and *skill and storytelling The narrative is accented by a Greek chorus of sorts comprised of the mothers of the local church the lderly women who have seen it all than onceIt s funny all I kept thinking of as I read this book was the John Mayer song Daughters particularly these lines Girls become lovers who turn into mothersSo mothers be good to your daughters too I hope this book marks the start of a long and illustrious literary career for Bennett because she certainly knows how to tell a story The book isn t perfect and some threads of the story are left unresolved but it is still a rich and beautiful story worth readingSee all of my reviews at The Mothers by Brit Bennett is a 2016 Riverhead publication This is another one of those buzz books I wouldn t ordinarily read but my curiosity got the better of me so I checked it out of the library just to see for myself why the book garnered such high praise The Mothers are the women of Upper Room Chapel who basically gossip about the members of the church and keep track of the families who
Attend They Narrate The StoryThey narrate the story Nadia Luke and Audrey three young black people living in Southern California Their lives interconnect during pivotal points in their young lives forging strong motional bonds in the process but the decisions made in their youth the secrets they keep will haunt them all through their adult lives The story is very A Meditation on Murder emotional the characters filled with a deep longing regret and desire The reader is like a spectator as the characters live through life s ups and downs make life altering choicesxperience love friendship betrayal and cope with the conseuences Life is not a fairy tale and this story demonstrates how despite our best fforts life throws us curve balls that upend all our good intentions sending us off in directions we never nvisioned This is not a resolvable wrapped up in a nice neat little bow happily Travis ever after type novel It s a sad story but one that describes life and the repercussions of our decisions The writing is sharp but deep character analysis is minimal I felt like instead of reading I was watching all this on television or something or like I was on the outside looking in The inner thoughts of the characters are not prevalent which is something I wished for Still I do appreciate that this is a debut novel and the author certainly has some writing chops I think if the characters had been fleshed out a bit and if thending hadn t been uite so abrupt I would have njoyed the book a little But I do see why the story with its contemporary setting its boldness the contrasts of religion with difficult topics like abortion resonates with readers Overall this is an impressive debut and I am glad I gave the book a try Brit Bennett is definitely an author to keep an ye on 35 stars. T to the choices they made that one seaside summer caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver and dogged by the constant nagging uestion What if they had chosen differently The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless hauntIn AI Weiwei: Beijing Photographs, 1993-2003 entrancing lyrical prose The Mothers asks whether a what if can be powerful than anxperience itself If as time passes we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves to the communities that have parented us and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forev. A mother s day float for mothersi saw a comment the other day on a friend s review that was both amusing and galling Dammit I can t trust the reviews of people who were given the item for free Believe it or not you re predisposed to like the productso before i get to the review part let me just say that yes i did get this book for free but that didn t predispose me to like the product as i shudder at the word product being used to describe a book yes i am beyond grateful that i was given the opportunity to read this since i d already had it on my to read shelf but it s been out for months i could also have been given the item for free by my local library or since it is a hardcover i could have borrowed it for free from work i get free books all the time as gifts as review copies from authors or publishers or on the free shelves at work as people move out of my building and leave The Bubble Economy: Is Sustainable Growth Possible? em on the radiator in the foyer and although i am always grateful for freebies i don t love them all or feel guilted into gratitude uprating and i don t think many other people doither most true book folk bleed integrity and it s pretty clear when a reviewer is genuinely nthusiastic about a bookhowever although i don t uprate for freebies i do have a blanket tendency towards uprating because my pesky readers advisory training has broadened my critical assessment faculties from is this a good book to me to can i identify the target audience for this book so a lot of books that are three and a half stars for ME are shunted into four star land because i know the book has an audience ven if it s not my particular favorite and that s what reviews are for my star ratings are slippery inconsistent things but the review space is where i can go into greater detail about what worked what didn t and who this book is for i don t get paid for my opinions or my reviews but if someone wants to give me a job i m all The Social Machine: Designs for Living Online ears i write them in order to help myself solidify my reaction to have a record of my readingxperience to understand the book s appeal for others and if my review Collision Course: Endless Growth on a Finite Planet either makes someone want to read the book or lets them know that it is not a book they wouldnjoy that s all 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 (Software Studies) extra gravy all of that to say that i loved this book objectively it s a really well written debut novel subjectively it s got many plot points to which i could relate not the least of which was like nadia growing up in a gossipy church town and losing my mother to suicide at seventeen so yeah there was a particular resonance for me that would have occurredven if i had shelled out the 26 bucks i can t think of anything i didn t like about it the writing is confident and assured without being showy without that self conscious impulse first timers often have to be impressive and literary there were so many perfect lines observations uiet truisms i d planned to use many pull uotes but it soon became impossible to Design Research: Methods and Perspectives even choose among them but here i will give you ONE Most of the milestones in a woman s life were accompanied by pain like her first time having sex or birthing a child For men it was all orgasms and champagne all of the characters are nuanced mostly sympathetic but capable of doing really selfishly shitty things the way we all are so they come across as humans instead of plot vehicles thending showed remarkable restraint and maturity for a debut there s no tidy authorial bow wrapping Your Everyday Art World everything just so it s funny and smart and thoughtful and honest and sad and just smooth she s anxcellent storyteller and it never feels overwritten or message laden although it s about death and abortion and crushed dreams and betrayal and abuse and all the different ways a person can be lonely or unmoored it s not at all bleak which is an accomplishment unto itselfso yeah i got a book for free and i loved it because it s a damn Why Photography Matters easy book to lovehere s something awesome i d been seeing these book box subscriptions around the interwebz where you pay to get surprise boxes of books and other treats mailed to you a couple of times a year and i thought when i start making money and my cat is cured ofxpensive cancers this is how i will spend my riches and then LO i was offered a free literary fiction box from pagehabit it is so freaking awesome ven maggie Wants To Check It Out to check it out has books and a mug
and some tea and a sticker the main book is I don tsome tea and a sticker the main book is I don t know what to say about this book It made me feel all the things It s about three people Nadia Luke and Aubrey but mostly Nadia It s about how our choices affect us and how our secrets can define us if we let them It s about growing up in a tight knit community and the pressures and the judgements that can go along with that It s about how grief and pain mess us up and what can happen when we try to leave it behind The Mothers is my favourite kind of book a story about people about life It s so beautiful and poignant in its xploration of humanity in the microcosm that are these characters I absolutely devoured this book Beth O Brienfrom The Best Books We Read In March 2017 I feel like I should have drawn my dangers of listening to audiobooks for the car in addition to the gym because I found myself driving around and fighting back tears the whole time I listened to this book Don t audiobook and drive if the book gives you FEELS I cried in a grocery store parking lot listening to this book Bennett perfectly captured painful coming of age moments for people who come from screwed up families Duty Free Murder especially the families that seem normal on the outside andspecially Asperger - Leben in zwei Welten : Betroffene berichten: das hilft mir in Beruf, Partnerschaft Alltag especially what happens when you re a kid left with a mystery as to how things went so horribly wrong in the first place Her prose is accessible and beautiful and rings of so much truth that it s almost too much to take at times I m glad I read this Susie Rodarmefrom The Best Books We Read In January 2017 I resisted this book for a while because of its title I m not a mother likely never will be and I m not a massive fan of fictional motherhood But I went to hear Brit Bennett read and speak at Politics and Prose my local bookstore and I couldn t help myself And it turns out that while motherhood is definitely a theme the mothers in uestion are the church mothers the older ladies who watch the unfolding drama between the Pastor s son and his girlfriend and comment on it with a wonderfullyxecuted voice that really drew me in This novel dealt with the topic of abortion with nuance and Hsi K'Ang and His Poetical Essay on the Lute empathy which is both interesting and important It was wonderful too to read about a very recognisable church community in literary fictionspecially where the members of that community are portrayed as complex and three dimensional neither angels nor demons but uite simply human Though she s still depressingly young Brit Bennett worked on his novel for many years and it s definitely paid off This is my favourite book not just of the month but also of the year Claire Handscombefrom The Best Books We Read In December 2016 I m so obsessed with this book and so glad I read it and didn t let it fall back on my TBR It was uick and satisfying read and Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California Brit Bennett's mesmerizing first novel is an motionally perceptive story about community love and ambition It begins with a secretAll good secrets have a taste before you tell them and if we'd taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret plucked too soon stolen and passed around before its seasonIt is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner a rebellious grief stricken seventeen year old beauty .