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The Mothers
by Brit Bennett


Overview - NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"Ferociously moving despite Bennett s thrumming plot, despite the snap of her pacing, it s the always deepening complexity of her characters that provides the book s urgency." The New York Times Book Review

" Luminous engrossing and poignant, this is one not to miss.
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More About The Mothers by Brit Bennett
 
 
 
Overview
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"Ferociously moving despite Bennett s thrumming plot, despite the snap of her pacing, it s the always deepening complexity of her characters that provides the book s urgency." The New York Times Book Review

"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 Post
One of The Today Show's "Must-Read Books for Fall"
A dazzling debut novel from an exciting new voice, The Mothers is a surprising story about young love, a big secret in a small community and 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 romance and the subsequent cover-up will 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."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780399184512
  • ISBN-10: 0399184511
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books
  • Publish Date: October 2016
  • Page Count: 288


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Coming of Age
Books > Fiction > Contemporary Women

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-07-11
  • Reviewer: Staff

Bennett’s brilliant, tumultuous debut novel is about a trio of young people coming of age under the shadow of harsh circumstances in a black community in Southern California. Deftly juggling multiple issues, Bennett addresses the subjects—abortion, infidelity, religious faith, and hypocrisy, race—head-on. At 17, Nadia Turner’s life is topsy-turvy. Six months after learning of her mother’s suicide, Nadia winds up pregnant and decides to abort the baby. The unborn baby’s father, Luke—a preacher’s son—gives Nadia the money to terminate but falls back on his promise to pick her up at the clinic after her appointment, causing a fissure in their relationship. Nadia’s secret decision haunts her for decades—through college in Michigan, law school, and an extended trip back home to care for her ailing father. Meanwhile, the slow-to-build trust between Luke and Aubrey, Nadia’s bible-thumping childhood best friend, who knows nothing of Nadia’s past, is threatened when Nadia and Luke reunite and rip open old wounds after Luke and Aubrey’s wedding. There’s much blame to go around, and Bennett distributes it equally. But she also shows an extraordinary compassion for her flawed characters. A Greek chorus of narrating gossipy “Mothers” (as they’re referred to in the text) from the local Upper Room Chapel provides further context and an extra layer to an already exquisitely developed story. Agent: Julia Kardon, Mary Evans Inc. (Oct.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews