NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "Luminous engrossing and poignant, this is one not to miss." People, Pick of the Week "Fantastic a book that feels alive on the page." The Washington PostA dazzling debut novel from an exciting new voice, The Mothers is a surprising story about young love, a big secret in a small communityand the things that ultimately haunt us most. Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, Brit Bennett's mesmerizing first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret."All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we'd taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season."It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother's recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor's son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it's not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romanceand the subsequent cover-upwill have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.In entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a "what if" can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever....
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The Mothers Reviews
I'd rate this between 4 and 4.5 stars, closer to the latter.
There's an incredible sense of longing that pervades Brit Bennett's terrifically compelling debut novel, The Mothers . There's longing for love of all kinds—maternal, romantic, even the love of good friends—a longing for answers, a longing to find one's place in the world, and a longing for truth. But getting what you think you want doesn't always make things turn out right.
Nadia Turner is smart, destined for a future far better than h ...more
I was not sure I wanted to read this book at all because of some negative reviews and comments in a discussion thread. I should know better by now! The novel is about mothers in a variety of ways. The central character, Nadia, gets pregnant and has an abortion not long after her mother commits suicide. There are a chorus of mothers at her church, the mother of her boyfriend, a sister-as-mother figure, and so on.
I come from a fundie anti-abortion background and have grown into a non-church pro-c ...more
The entwined lives of three teens in an African American community in Southern, California. Nadia, whose mother recently committed suicide and Aubrey, whose mother has chosen her boyfriend over her, and Luke, the pastor's son. Personal demons, young love, and growing up to find you still long for that which you left behind. A decision impossible to take back but that will fill Nadia with regret.. the Upper Room chapel and the Mothers, those older church ladies, who seem to see and know everythin ...more
"It was strange, learning the contours of another’s loneliness. You could never know it all at once; like stepping inside a dark cave, you felt along the walls, bumped into jagged edges."
This was a depressingly lyrical book about the unlikely love between two young people, and an equally unlikely friendship between two young girls. Set in a small all-black community in Southern California circa 2008, the narrators are a group of older church women from the Upper Room church (attended by all the ...more
Y'all I'm conflicted... I really liked this novel- the writing, the overall plot and its lack of a clear-cut ending. At one point, I couldn't even put the book down. But, I felt somewhat disappointed by the predictable path this novel took. There were a couple melodramatic scenes that were Tyler Perry-esque, that had me clutching my imaginary pearls or groaning in dismay. I just felt like the author could have taken this plot somewhere unexpected & killed it.
Why do I feel conflicted? Becaus ...more
“The weight of what has been lost is always heavier than what remains.”
A beautiful book with a real soul at its center, The Mothers is unlike anything I've read before. It starts with a teenager recovering from the loss of her mother's suicide, who then does the desperate and ends her own baby's life through an abortion. The book is surprisingly layered as it touches upon the girl's life as she grows up, the father's life as he grows and mourns for his child and his youth, and the best friend wh ...more
I wanted to slip this in before The Mothers day of adjudication (3/14/17) ,before the Tournament of Books judges fawn over it (or pick it apart, as I kind of want to, but can't for fear of spoiling the jambalaya). I will just say that I think Brit Bennett's got a long, successful career ahead of her after this, her debut novel. She takes an oft-travelled stroll down some very familiar paths but does it in such a way that the end product comes out fresh and vibrant. The dialogue she conce ...more
Initial thoughts: What a great debut! Lyrical writing, a touching storyline and resounding characters . . . Sat down to read a few chapters but couldn't help but finish it in a day.