Brit Bennett’s debut novel has caused quite a stir. After reading an article she wrote http://jezebel.com/i-dont-know-what-to-do-with-good-white-people-1671201391 I thought this politically heated month is either the best time to read her novel or the worse. I wanted to read The Mothers - not the headlines. What did I learn? This young woman is an incredible new writer that speaks from her heart with poise and grace and poetry. I was not disappointed.
Nadia Turner is a feisty high school senior counting the minutes to the rest of her life. Her mantra is get me out of this house, out of this town and let me get on with my life, the sooner the better. Sadly, just when all her hard work has finally paid off and her superior grades have gotten her into college in Michigan, Nadia’s mother takes her own life. Her father is devastated. As a marine he is stoic in nature and as a husband and father, he is completely lost. Nadia is lonely and heartbroken. She uses alcohol and sex to trick her mind into submission. And then she meets Luke, the son of the preacher. In this small California conservative town, much of life revolves around Upper Room, the church on the hill. Luke and Nadia keep their romance a secret until Nadia becomes pregnant. Nadia is haunted by her choices and her love for Luke for many years to come. As hard as she tries and as far as she travels she cannot escape what may have been, what they could have had. With the the loss of her mother also comes an incredible bond with her new unlikely friend Aubrey, the quiet religious girl at school, the sister she always dreamed of. The tangle of emotions that follows is filled with love, jealousy and loss. I highly recommend this incredible new novel by author Brit Bennett. These beloved characters pull the reader deep into their hearts and it is easy to imagine the story from everyone’s point of view. You will be thinking about The Mothers long after you turn the last page.