The Mothers by Brit Bennett follows the story of seventeen year old Nadia Turner who, after losing her mother to suicide, finds herself pregnant with the local pastor’s son’s baby. It is this pregnancy, and the cover up that followed, that greatly impacts the life of Nadia, her best friend Aubrey, and Luke well into their adult lives. Told through the perspective of Nadia and “the mothers” of the local church, Bennett beautifully captures the modern black experience and the complexity of our relationships, especially within a rather insular community.
To put it simply, this book is a work of art. Bennett’s imagery and prose is like nothing I have ever experienced before. She somehow captures exactly what the reader is thinking as she exposes us to the different hardships that Nadia faces, making her experiences even more relatable. Furthermore, she beautifully and expertly shows the reader the hearts and minds of the three dimensional characters that she created in a way that transforms them into old friends that leap off the page. Moreover, her comments on the modern black experience ground Bennett’s whimsical writing style in a reality we all recognize to be true.
My only complaint about this novel is that the ending of the novel was a bit long winded. After the last, and most damning, of the many plot twists occurred, I found myself getting a bit antsy for it to resolve itself. While I still found the overall progression of the novel to be masterful and moving, there were some moments especially in Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey’s adult years during which I felt a bit stuck in a rut as a reader.
The Mothers by Brit Bennett was a pleasant surprise in my fall reading list. I honestly had no idea what to expect from this novel and her story took me to a corner of the literary world that I had never been before, and am longing to return to. I cannot wait to see what other masterpieces Ms. Bennett puts out in the future and I strongly encourage everyone to bump The Mothers to the top of your reading list.
4 out of 5 stars