The Mothers by Brit Bennett

9780735215405

Summary from Goodreads:

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.

Another debut! This one has gotten a lot of buzz at my bookstore so I was eager to give it a go (especially after loving debut novel Homegoing). But, alas, this was destined to be merely a good read rather than a great one. I don’t think the story will end up staying with me. All the elements were there: it was interesting, well-written, I was invested in the characters. I especially liked Bennett’s use of first person plural with “The Mothers” – the female elders at the local church who open each chapter as a sort of Greek chorus. I was also heartened by Bennet’s ability to stear clear of cliche – the young girl is not ruined by abortion; the black man wants to be a present father. But… I ended up feeling quite meh about the whole thing.

SPOILER ALERT – highlight below if you want to see. 

Especially the affair storyline and the ending. I was left unsatisfied by the whole thing and I didn’t quite buy into either romance: Luke and Aubrey or Luke and Nadia. 

SPOILERS OVER

Any other opinions? Am I being too harsh? I didn’t hate it; I just didn’t love it either

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4 thoughts on “The Mothers by Brit Bennett

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