I picked The Mothers by Brit Bennett when it scrolled past me in my library’s newly added digital titles collection. Late one night, I started the book after the kids were in bed and stayed up until past 1:00 AM to finish it. I sat back in my chair letting the feelings wash over me before I finally roused myself to go to bed.
I let the feelings sit for a couple of days before I wanted to review. The book is powerful. I read the book with my hands itching to mark and re-read passages. The clever weaving of words was a treat to read. I let the words swirl in my mouth, swish past my throat and settle in my stomach until satiety overcame me like a well balanced meal.
The story begins with secrets. The use of a collective voice to represent the mothers in the community was novel. By the time you are midway through the book, you are the protagonist, stuck and free in many ways. She escapes the town and its secrets only to return and be enmeshed by it. It is a story of mothers, mothering and being an unmother.
This is a book I will reread, recommend and probably gift other bookish friends. Bennett’s voice is unique, her prose addictive and storytelling stellar. It is an explosive debut.
Highly recommend reading and buying this book.