A review by jesshindes
The Mothers, by Brit Bennett

emotional inspiring reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


I really enjoyed 'The Mothers', even more I think than 'The Vanishing Half', which I read and liked last year. As with that second book, I think Bennett does particularly well with characterisation and relationships: in this case, she sets up three central characters, (Nadia, Luke and Aubrey) all teenagers when the book begins, and traces their relationships with each other and with the church community where they meet. She deals with painful experiences sensitively and plausibly, writes a diverse cast of characters (in terms of age, sexuality, class, dis/ability as well as race) that feels real rather than forced, and her style is careful and precise as well as very readable. This is one of those books where you really care about what the characters mean to each other (I particularly valued the weight given to Nadia and Aubrey's friendship); where you see the ways they can hurt each other and wish they wouldn't but understand that it's life and of course, that's how relationships sometimes work. All in all, good read, and I'll look forward to whatever she publishes next.

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