I don't do a lot of book reviews, especially when they're off-topic for my business.
But Girl, Woman, Other is one that I feel strongly about.
My friend is really into her progressive literature. It's one of the reasons we bond so well. We have a mini-book club, mostly consisting of passing books to each other that we love.
This one fell into my lap a little over a month ago. It took me some time to read, mostly because of life "getting in the way". I kept picking it up and putting it down.
At first, the syntax is very jarring. There is a definitive lack of full sentences and no quotes for dialogue. So I put the book down another 2 weeks. But I picked it back up when I had a spare half hour and didn't fancy trolling social media. That was when I got over myself. In fact, I became obsessed. I ended up reading it in less than a working week.
In the book, Evaristo details the accounts of black women in and around Britain, pretty much spanning the last century.
As we follow the life stories of 12 women, we start to see how they connect and intertwine. They cross generational divides and traverse the gender spectrum. We see feminism from a wide variety of angles, and as a result of their blackness: racism too.
The stories are heart-warming, heart-breaking, and heart-wrenching all at once. I can't pick a favourite story; neither can I pick a least favourite.
You come to realise that everyone has their own story to tell, their own truth to come to terms with. Stories that feel scandalous, but once you get inside the mind of the person that's living the scandal, totally justified. I don't want to reveal the scandals, so I'll leave you to read the book to find out. But honestly, it's SO GOOD.
I grew up privileged. I grew up without much bullying, I didn't suffer from poverty. I was curious and read a lot. But this is something that I missed: perspective, context, connection with others. Personally, I find this a total must-read for any person that wants to call themselves progressive, anti-racist, or feminist. If you are any or all of these things, you need to get your head in this book. Now.
(Picture is obviously not mine! I got it off the Waterstones website)