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Search tags: brit-fic
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review 2018-10-23 18:46
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
The Mothers: A Novel - Brit Bennett

I’ve been doing research for my upcoming novel, the good kind that means I can read a load of books (guilt free!) that concern the topic I’m going to write about. My novels going to have a sub-plot concerning the recent referendum that just took place in the south of Ireland, namely about repealing the eight amendment. It’s a contentious issue at the best of times, so I’m not going to go on about it here, except to say this book was one of the top one’s that supposedly treated the issue realistically. And I can confirm that it definitely did treat it realistically and sensitively, at that.

 

The story is set within a contemporary black community in Southern California and concerns Nadia, a seventeen-year-old girl who’s just lost her mother to suicide. In her grief-stricken state she takes up with the local pastor’s son, Luke. The pregnancy that results and the subsequent cover-up has a ripple affect that’s felt throughout the years and effects many relationships. Nadia’s best friend, Aubrey, becomes an integral part of the story a bit later on and even her relationship with the former is affected by the decisions made in her youth.

 

I couldn’t believe this was a debut novel and had to keep reminding myself of that fact. It kept a steady footing throughout and wove together seemingly isolated incidents in a way that felt very authentic.

 

I did have a few issues with it, even though I thought it was well done, such as the tendency to show rather than tell. I find this indicative of how much I love and think about a book after I’ve set it down. It’s so much more fulfilling as a reader to draw your own conclusions from the evidence, rather than being led there. Secondly, while Aubrey (Nadia’s best friend) was rather sweet, she didn’t fare particularly well when having to rely on her own esteem, rather than when she was reflected through Nadia. Luke, who was very much key to the narrative, also struggled to assert himself adequately. Every character seemed to falter when operating solo of Nadia and since this was written in third person multiple, it was felt quite viscerally. I would love to have seen how this book read in first person. I think it may have been ever-so-slightly stronger.

 

The religious theme was woven throughout, but at no time did it become preachy. Most of the main characters were involved in the church, but there was never that intrusive feeling you sometimes get. Nadia didn’t even seem particularly religious, neither did Luke.

 

The novel was more about an abstract notion rather than a concrete one, the what if’s in life and if they can sometimes mean more than reality.

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text 2018-10-18 16:11
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Mothers: A Novel - Brit Bennett

A very good character study of three people, that spanned over 10 years. There was a little too much telling, rather than showing, but for a debut novel it was superb.

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text 2018-10-13 16:03
Reading progress update: I've read 10%.
The Mothers: A Novel - Brit Bennett

I wanted to read this for research purposes as it's topic is similar to the novel I'll begin writing shortly for nanowrimo (national novel writing month), so I've had to push my bingo reading aside temporarily. I'll still get that bingo, though!

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review 2018-04-24 19:49
The Sixth Day (A Brit in the FBI) - Catherine Coulter,J.T. Ellison

Drones? Very old manuscript? Bitcoins? Vlad Dracul? Trained falcons? Bram Stoker? Political figures mysteriously dying daily on a daily basis?

What the heck? How do all these tie in together you ask? Well, just leave it to Catherine Coulter and J. T. Ellison. They absolutely had and have the knack to do so while keeping you on your toes with your pulse racing and your heart beating right out of your chest.

This is definitely a duo that when I see their names together, I am immediately raising my hand to sign me for their reads. As usual, this one did not fail to disappoint. Psychotic villains who went way above and beyond the "what if" scary factor.

This book had me racing through it. The action is non stop and believable (scary!!). I loved how hemophilia and Dracula were able to come together in this unputdownable read. I especially loved the little bit about Bram Stoker - genius!

Grossest part? "He gave her a chicken neck from his pocket." OMG, I could literally smell that rancid thing and even now, I am still getting a little nauseous.

While only my second book in the series, I look forward to more and hopefully find time to go back and read the others.

Excellent read that I read in one sitting.

Kudos to the authors and thanks to Gallery, Pocket Threshold Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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review 2018-02-18 06:18
Church Ladies with A Heart
The Mothers: A Novel - Brit Bennett

I read this a few weeks ago, and it's sticking with me. I think about the characters often, and I really wish I'd have read it with a group so I could refer to it and not get weird faces pulled in return. Brit Bennett must be a very wise old soul in a young woman's body. (She was apparently 25 when this was written.)

The Mothers are the old church ladies in a California community. The action revolves around the church, specifically one family in the church. But while it's based in the church, this is a very secular novel without any religious zealotry directed toward the reader. (Some zealotry gets directed toward characters.) The Mothers represent missing mothers, mothers who can't fulfill their duties, mothers who are actually fathers, and many other mother figures in today's world.

It's a quiet story about loving people we aren't sure how to love, or how to show we love; about what happens when we can't, don't or won't talk our loved ones and instead keep secrets. It's a story about the fact that even when someone doesn't show you they love you in the way you might have hoped for or doesn't tell you everything, they may be the one to come through for you. Conversely, those who profess love may not be there when things get tough. It's about family and the ache that comes from missing family. It's an excellent story. Read it if you haven't.

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