What is it about?
The eighth novel by Bernadine Evaristo follows the lives of 12 characters in Britain who are all linked in some way spanning the course of decades.
Most of the characters are Black British women, from across the country delving into their experiences as first, second and third generation immigrants. It tells the stories of their loves, families and friends.
What’s the Verdict?
This book is simply beautiful, covering a different type of British history as well as looking at what it means to be British and the social issues of today. Covering a range of sensitive topics, Evaristo still manages to convey a sense of hope and unity with not only the main characters but with the society they live in. Deeply moving and funny in parts, it is a very difficult book to put down. Books like this you start to consciously read slowly because you don’t want them to end.
The collection of voices we hear are all sympathetic in some way, Evaristo doesn’t paint any villains but explores how they have each become a product of their environment and how events in their life have shaped them.
The lack of punctuation may be off putting at first, but it works exceptionally well with the story telling, creating a sense of urgency and a rebellion to the norm. Imaginative and deeply moving this book will not disappoint.
“It’s easy to forget that England is made up of many Englands.”
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