August, Kathryn H., Reviews
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Real and Raw

Brit Bennett can certainly craft a story. I was sucked in to Oceanside almost immediately and then spent the next few days reading while tears pricked the back of my eyes. It wasn’t that the book was sad, per se, though elements of it were heartbreaking for sure. It was more that each person’s story felt so real and so raw.

I felt for Nadia, Aubrey, Robert, and Luke… even when they were making decisions that were frustrating or awful. I think the narrative voice Bennett used had a great deal to do with it. As a reader, I knew enough about the characters to understand their motivation, even when their literary counterparts couldn’t. {SPOILER ALERT} Even during Nadia and Luke’s affair, an act I generally have absolutely no sympathy for, I could see how it happened. While I wasn’t rooting for them, I wasn’t as angry with them either.

I also thought that having an abortion be the driving force of the story was an interesting choice. Mostly because as much as the book was about the abortion, it wasn’t about abortion. That was refreshing in a way because it didn’t read like a pro-choice or pro-life book, which I think would have taken this from a great summer read to something else (an election day read?!).

I could go on for hours about the intricacies of the plot, the development of the characters, the relationships the various narrative devices used, and my many thoughts on why you should read The Mothers. But I also know that sometimes short and sweet is better, which is incidentally another great quality of Bennett’s debut novel. So instead of going on for another dozen or so paragraphs, I’ll simply tell you this: the praise for The Mothers is well-deserved, and if you didn’t read with us this month, move it up your queue and read it ASAP.

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