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The Mothers

The Mothers

A Novel

Book - 2016
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"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"-- Provided by publisher.
"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2016
ISBN: 9780399184512
Call Number: F BENNETT
Characteristics: 278 pages ; 24 cm


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List - Books Read in 2018
SFPL_LauraL2 Aug 20, 2018

3 stars

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Nov 07, 2020

Very easy read surrounding a very interesting topic. However, I'm not sure the book quite lived up to the hype. I was expecting something shattering and life-changing - it was not that unfortunately. Kudos to the author for tackling such a complicated topic though.

Sep 27, 2020

Idk how to rate this.. it was a decent book, I enjoyed.
I related to Nadia so much that it brought tears to my eyes in the beginning. I liked the different POV because I never thought about the boy’s side of abortions and how it can follow them for so long—at least when it is with a woman they love/like. I also like how real life world this is, gossiping church ladies, strained parent relationships, health issues, betrayal.

Although I felt that some parts of the book was unnecessary. I felt like it dragged in some places. I also thought, towards the end, things just got repetitive. But I think I would have a different experience reading the physical copy even having no issue with the audio. This book is worth rereading which is rare for me.

Book is a lot about life. Just lives of these people and how they are dealing with their life choices. I personally like more plot heavy/driven stories, but i enjoyed this book enough to want to read it twice.

I would recommend for all contemporary readers and to women who has had trouble with any idea of motherhood (receiving and giving).

Aug 21, 2020

Very impressive first novel from Brit Bennett with themes including the meanings of friendship, family and religion. The title refers to a Greek chorus-like group of Church elders who comment on events throughout the novel. The strength of The Mothers, though, is the characterizations, all of which ring true, from the friendship at the heart of this novel to more peripheral characters. I read this one while waiting for Bennett's second novel, The Vanishing Half, to be available, and I'm glad I did. Highly recommended.

CALS_Lee Jun 01, 2020

"Upper Room had encircled the wailing mother and held her up, soundlessly, because hard deaths resist words. A soft death can be swallowed with Called home to be with the Lord or We'll see her again in glory, but hard deaths get caught in the teeth like gristle."

That's a mere aside about a non-character in this novel, however it does a fine job of summing up the essential thing to know about this debut from an obviously talented writer. Two lives are absent from this story, and their hard absences shape these characters in difficult ways. They pull together and push apart, love and hurt one another, in the wakes.

Oct 27, 2019

Despite the title, this story is also about fathers and daughters and lovers and friends. Three teens in a small town in California - a beauty who just lost her mother to suicide, a bad boy pastor's son, and a lost girl suffering from horrific trauma - collide, befriend, be-love, and betray each other one summer, and repeat the pattern well into adulthood. Well-written and affecting, and certainly surprisingly assured for a debut novel. I didn't like the Greek chorus of church ladies; it felt forced and tacked on to a story that could stand on its own. Bennett tackled a lot of tough themes - abortion first and foremost, but also sexual abuse, family estrangement, religion and faith - and deftly handled the heft while keeping tight grip on her plot.

STPL_JessH Sep 13, 2019

The Mothers is stunning. Absolutely stunning. I started reading slowly because I kept stopping to reread particularly well-written passages. This book is beautifully crafted. There's no need for annoying or overt symbolism because Bennett's text and content are so intricately integrated that I purposefully interrupted the flow to savour each passage. Then, I had to let myself be carried away by this narrator. Of course we've read this plot before; that does not matter. What matters is the experience of spending a few hundred pages listening to Bennett tell a story. This story is rich, and lush, and heart breaking. It's messy in an elegant way: in a way that forces pain to be contained and the bubble never bursts because it has morphed into another form entirely. I highly recommend this book!

May 27, 2019

Well told story about family and friendship. Bennett provides great metaphors and similes throughout her story which makes reading this pleasurable. The topic of loss and love and the impact both have on our life made this book interesting to read.

Apr 16, 2019

Marvelous just wonderful book. The beginning catches you right away and the story just gets more and more intriguing, very realistic. I hope the author writes plenty more books.

Feb 25, 2018

This story grew on me. By the end I had cried, got mad, threw the book down in frustration and then cried again. I like the way the author developed the characters and I found pieces of myself in each one - the hallmark of a great writer. Hollywood should definitely be interested in bringing this story to the screen. I'm looking forward to reading more from Brit Bennett. I'm pretty sure I'll brag to anyone who will listen how I read her first book before she became a household name.

VaughanPLUrszula Dec 04, 2017

This depiction of how the lives of three people intersect and the repercussions of an abortion on the greater community is sparse, yet extremely well executed. A great choice for a book club, as there is much to decipher and discuss.

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Dec 27, 2018

She might have gone her whole life not knowing, thinking that she was enjoying a feast when she had actually been picking at another's crumbs.

DBRL_LaurenW Oct 24, 2017

"Oh girl, we have known that littlebit love. That littlebit of honey left in an empty jar that traps the sweetness in your mouth long enough to mask your hunger. We run tongues over teeth to savor that last littlebit as long as we could, and in all our living, nothing has starved us more."


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