GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER
By Bernadine Evaristo
It’s the book everyone was talking about at the end of last year, and deservedly so. Interweaving the lives and histories of 12 black British women in ways that defy cliche, Girl, Woman, Other grips you from beginning to end. Exploring themes from sexuality to identity, ambition to family, love to politics, Evaristo’s characters are so real and authentic you feel like you know them – or could do.
There’s the glam investment banker with the posh white partner and her Nigerian mum who despairs at her daughter’s rejection of tradition. There’s the acclaimed lesbian playwright whose success embarrasses her kids, and her best friend’s struggle in an abusive relationship. Their stories are moving, entertaining, funny and powerful.
I love all the little details – the clothes, the food, the observations, the character quirks. And reading a book that shows life through a lens that’s in some ways unfamiliar is totally intriguing. It’s a book that shows how women’s lives and actions continue to impact on each other, on the previous and next generations, down through the centuries. A must.