The Mothers

Brit Bennett|  Fiction


Huffington Post recently published a list, 10 New Books By Women Writers Of Color To Add To Your Must-Read List.  So, I decided to oblige.  I checked with my dear friend and reading buddy Mary and she had recently read and enjoyed The Mothers, so that’s where I began.

At first I thought The Mothers was simply a story about Nadia, a young woman in Southern California. The more I read, the richer this book became. And I was only a tiny bit biased by Nadia’s departure from California to go to college at my alma mater, the University of Michigan!

The three main characters are Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey, three black teenagers as the story begins.  Yes, there are many entanglements among these three people in their teenage years and later in life, as you might expect.  About halfway through, the intersections of these three lives become more complex and the book becomes more compelling. 

This is (yes, again!) another debut novel. I hope we see more from Ms. Bennett, who has insight and understanding of the complexities we can create between one another, and how these complexities impact our lives.  I trust her writing will become a bit tighter and more mature.

My only real criticism is that I believe the author does an inadequate job of flushing out her title, The Mothers.  The Mothers are the women elders in the church that is central to Luke’s, Nadia’s, and Aubrey’s lives, but we don’t really learn about the mothers until Chapter 12 of this 14-chapter novel.

The Mothers receives four hearts from me ... but it isn't a wild and enthusiastic four hearts.  Read this book if it sounds interesting to you.  It is not a “must read” however.  I’d give it a solid 3.6 hearts, if I weren’t so committed to my 4-heart rating (and if I had a clue how to make a .6 heart!)


2 responses on “The Mothers

  1. Mary C Crawford

    Glad you liked it!
    When I first started reading, I also thought the author would be dwelling more on church women referred to as “the Mothers”. My feeling after finishing the book was that the title, and the author’s intention, was on the role of mothers. The three main characters relationship with their mothers, the young women’s thoughts about becoming mothers, and the role of the church Mothers.
    There aren’t many books I read that I want to go back and reread right again. This was one. My library guilt gave in and I returned it promptly, knowing it had a wait list.

    1. Andrea Sigetich Post author

      Ah, Mary, so you interpreted the tile more broadly … Mothers in a more general sense. Hmm, I think that’s a great way to see it! It resonates better with the content of the book than how I interpreted it. Thank you!