Get on the bandwagon: The Mothers

Thankfully, since the DNF debacle (I actually DNF’d a weirdly disjointed Agatha Christie shortly thereafter!), I’ve read some GREAT books. I’m going to do my best to talk about all of them.

Today we start with Brit Bennett’s The Mothers.

By now, most of you have seen this book around. The cover is a colourful depiction of a woman, perhaps a stained glass woman. It’s been on Must Read lists all over the place and being lauded as a “dazzling” debut novel.

All of the hype is warranted.

How rare is it to be able to say that?


The Mothers is the story of three teenagers in a small African-American community in Southern California: Nadia, beautiful and motherless trying to find her way out of grief, making the only decision she can see; Luke, the son of the preacher coming to terms with his life after football; and Aubrey, a stranger in the community whose life centers around faith and being good, running from events that haunt her still.

When Nadia gets pregnant with Luke’s baby, the decision she makes ripples out through the years, touching all of their lives. This book looks at the decisions we make when we are young, when we are different from the people we will ultimately become, and how those decisions can define us for years after.

The title comes from the group of women, The Mothers, of the church who see everything unfolding, who see the experiences of Luke, Aubrey and Nadia through the lens of their own experiences, who tried to help where they could.

This book is beautiful. It astonished me. Somehow Bennett manages to weave a story around abortion that doesn’t feel judgemental – incredible when you realize that the story takes place in a community of faith. Although abortion is the device that propels the plot forward, this book isn’t about abortion.

Aubrey, Luke and Nadia come to us as flawed people, trying to forge their path in this world despite the obstacles thrown in their way. It is so, so, so beautifully written.

This is the kind of book that will give you a book hangover. The one that will leave you feeling dissatisfied with basically anything that you read afterwards. The best/most astonishing part? Bennett is only 25! It’s probably safe to say that we can expect more thoughtful, gorgeous, staggering stories from her.

PS she also wrote this.

Thanks to Penguin Random House of Canada for an ARC of this book. 

22 thoughts on “Get on the bandwagon: The Mothers

  1. Yes to all of this!!! And I agree that it’s not really about abortion…and I loved that she didn’t make that the in your face focal point.

    I knew she was under 35, but didn’t know she was only 25!! So glad we’ll be seeing much more from her.

    And Jennifer Weiner is currently helping my own Mothers book hangover.

    • I think it’s really difficult to write a story around something as big as abortion and not make it about that one thing. Brit Bennett has managed to do just that. That alone is incredible.
      25!!!! She writes with such maturity, such pathos, and sees the world so clearly that it honestly blew my mind to find she’s just 25. I can’t wait to see what else she has for us.
      I haven’t read any Jennifer Weiner! I keep meaning to!
      I went with the tried and true Maeve Binchy. It’s working for me because it’s SO FAR from what Bennett wrote, you know? A comfort read, but not a challenge.

  2. Just read that article you linked to – wow. I’m really looking forward to the book – it just arrived today! Got to get through a few others first, though. I cannot believe she is only 25…

  3. I thought Bennett’s writing style was the star of The Mothers. The way she worded so many different key parts of the story stunned me. I love how you worded the feeling when you finish it, “a book hangover.” That’s it exactly!

    • You are so write about her writing. There were times where I had to stop and re-read some of the things she’d written. Her talent really did blow me away.
      Can’t take credit for the idea of a book hangover! But it’s the only way to describe the feeling!

  4. You’re right: it doesn’t often happen that the hype doesn’t get us over-hoping because of the over-hype, then leaving us deflated in the end. Glad this proved to be an exception!

  5. Great review- I am almost finished with the audiobook and I am really enjoying it so far. Kind of a slow middle for me, but it has DEFINITELY picked back up with Nadia back home. ❤

  6. Pingback: Fictional Year | The Paperback Princess

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