Book Review: Girl, Woman, Other

This lovely novel was suggested to me by my Moroccan Book Club, and it was a success for me 😀

Synopsis:

Teeming with life and crackling with energy — a love song to modern Britain and black womanhood

Girl, Woman, Other follows the lives and struggles of twelve very different characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years.

Joyfully polyphonic and vibrantly contemporary, this is a gloriously new kind of history, a novel of our times: celebratory, ever-dynamic and utterly irresistible.

My opinion:

No lies, I was first attracted to the book cover and its bright colors. It also is a book that is modern and in tune with the current worldwide social situation. « Girl, woman, others » covers subjects such as the black British experience, lesbian life, sacrifice, lost childhood, early motherhood, lost history… And how women survive in a white dominated society and what it means for their stories and life choices.

The novel is really well written. Each chapter covers a character and depicts their life, upbringing, difficulties… Its fluid which allows the reader a smooth transition between periods, stories and character’s thoughts. Picturing characters has never been this easy and we are transported into each woman’s environment. The attention to detail, description, structure and syntax makes this novel an enjoyable reading experience.

The 12 chapters of the book tell the stories of Black British women of different upbringing, age, sexuality, social class, cultural level and sexual identity. The author is describing these protagonists as social climbers, abuse victims, ambitious women… and above all, life survivors. Yet she made sure to keep a certain distance in the narration. It feels like we are watching a documentary about the characters rather than being involved and shadowing their everyday moves.

I didn’t like the fact that some characters were not awarded much thought, especially Latisha. While Amma and Yazz got a big chunk of the focus. Same goes for Dominique, I feel like she could have been explored more and not only via her relationship with her partner.

What I loved about this book is how the author includes the characters backstories and link throughout the chapters. Its a slow build up to the final frame where it all make sense. I also liked the fact that the novel revolves around a theater piece called « The amazons of Dahomey ». Get it? Amazons? 😀

« Girl, woman other » is a beautiful book, that explore the subject of identity and diversity. I expected more at the end as I was left with a feeling that the story was missing something. Nonetheless, Its an enjoyable lecture!

I have it in PDF and audio book if you guys want it 😀