Part of the What We Are Reading Now collection of Book Reviews by friends of Essex Book Festival
A Book Review by Katharine Mahoney (Red Lion Books Customer)
Girl, Woman, Other is a freewheeling, ambitious, cacophony of female voices that reveals the realities of race, identity and womanhood through the interwoven stories of twelve women. A co-Booker Prize Winner 2019, it tells the stories of among others, LaTisha a young black woman with attitude who drops out of school, Carole a high flying banker who rejects her past, Amma a lesbian playwright who fights against the establishment, Morgan a non-binary campaigner and Shirley an unfulfilled schoolteacher.
It is easy to categorise this book as a fierce novel about black women and their families, “a breath-taking symphony of black women’s voices” says the Washington Post. But, this book goes deeper; it spans continents and generations and shines a light on domestic violence, controlling partners, isolation, the loneliness of motherhood and fears of non-conformity. If it has a downside, it is that occasionally the characters can feel like convenient constructs, but even so, the experiences of those characters take us far further than womanhood. This is a novel about humanity and with its free-flowing, page-turning style, it is well worth a read.