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, 17-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother's recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor's son. Luke Sheppard is 21, 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.
©2016 Brit Bennett (P)2016 Penguin Audio
"Brit Bennett is the real thing. The Mothers is a stellar novel - moving, thoughtful. Stunning. I couldn't put it down. I'm so excited to have this brilliant new voice in the world." (Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award-winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming and Another Brooklyn)
"Brit Bennett's The Mothers is a brilliant exploration of friendship, desire, inheritance, the love we seek, and the love we settle for. It is the kind of book that from its first page seduces you into knowing that the heartbreak coming will be worth it." (Danielle Evans, author of Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self)
"Brit Bennett is so bracingly talented on the page... [The Mothers is] astute and absorbing and urgent." (Jezebel)
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"A very good book for discussion"
I completely enjoyed this book although I wasn't crazy about the voice used for Aubry. There were multiple layers of issues on many dimensions. I never felt like anything was forced. I've seen reviews that the book was overly preachy on the abortion issue but I didn't find it inconsistent with a book set in a church community. I thought the characters were complex and very real. I think this is a good book for white readers to learn more about the a realistic middle class black community.
"Preachy Cautionary Tale about Abortion"
While the story was engaging enough, ultimately it was too preachy for me. The chapters start with church mothers talking but honestly those sections detracted rather than added to the story. The characters weren't really believable to me. I didn't care for the way the reader over enunciated words. In sum, I just didn't like this book
"Lacks understanding, depth and compassion"
I would absolutely not try another book by the author.
The reading was fine.
This book failed to capture any real nuance, understanding or compassion for the main character. There are already enough voices projecting onto women how they feel or ought to feel about abortion, especially by people who have never faced the decision themselves. Unfortunately now there is one more. The writing wasn't anything special. Lots of attempts at illuminating analogies that fell flat.
This is one of the worst books I've read in a very long time. Reading it is like watching an episode of a very bad teen tv series. And to make things worse, the narrator reads like a robot. A total disappointment!
"Interesting story if..,,,,,"
This was a fairly interesting novel , worth listening to but the narrative was so slow and dirge like that it was only when I bumped the listening speed to 1.25 was I able to tolerate the pace. That improved it considerably.
A poignant, insightful and deceptively simple novel, that is beautifully written. The powerful narration makes the story that much more compelling. Among the many perspectives carefully embroidered in this novel, the one motif that was captured was the depth and complexity of the lasting effects of trauma on the development of a young woman's self esteem. It also cautions us how if early emotional traumas are left to the elders of blind faith or without access to good mental health specialists these deep scars will continue to reverberate throughout a person's life from one generation to another.
I eagerly await Ms. Bennett's next novel.
Narrator excellent. Loved the story ending made me want more. Being set in San Diego but appeared to have such a southern flair made it even more interesting.
This is an excellent book. The story is extremely well written and delivered. I can't wait for more of her books! The audio narration is one of the best I've heard.
"Preachy with an Agenda"
I really thought I would like this book, but I couldn't get past the anti-abortion tone that is really strong throughout the story. I am definitely not pro-abortion, but I felt like the book was trying to teach a lesson that abortion will only bring tragedy and fall out to the woman and everyone in her life. I know that's over simplifying and I don't mean to sound myopic, but I feel strongly this book had an agenda and was almost condemning those women who find themselves in similar positions as Nadia. I didn't sense any compassion from the author or the characters toward Nadia, whose mother had committed suicide and whose father was lost in his grief. She was in a vulnerable position and yet she was condemned throughout. Too preachy for my taste.
I loved this amazing coming-of-age story and will definitely read this author again. Loved!
The main character!
Coming of age story and the struggle of women
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