The Mothers

The Mothers received a lot of praise last year but I got around to reading it earlier this year. I found it deserving of all the acolades it received. The novel was immensely readable and thoughtful throughout. The tone and voice, especially for a debut author, are strong throughout. The book feels engaging page after page, and I found myself thinking about it for days after finishing.

One theme in particular that stuck out to me is about black women. In popular culture, films especially, black women are over-represented as mother figures. Whether they be care takers or single mothers, black women often carry huge amounts of emotional weight in stories but almost always on behalf of someone (often white characters) else. There are some of those types of black women in this book, too. But I felt like this book depicted and explored young, old, rich, poor, stoic, emotional, all types and sides of black women.

It can be hard sometimes to convey to people, especially those who are motivated not to believe you, what one means by intersectionality. This is a book, for my money, that gets intersectionality right. And accomplishes that most slippery of goals: first and foremost telling a great story and letting the lessons come naturally.