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A sensational debut by a writer of incredible quiet, beauty, and humanity, The Mothers captivated and engulfed. I immediately fell for Nadia Turner, a young girl struggling through first love, her mother's death, and a secret she must keep hidden from her overbearing religious community. The waves of this secret ripple against the shores of Nadia's life in ways she could have never predicted. As she grows up, the decisions she made that one fateful summer affect every facet of her life until she returns home to confront her childhood and the fraught relationships she left behind. Brit Bennett has flawlessly executed a beautiful novel of girlhood, race, young and unending love, and that constant what-if we call life.
— From Claire
— From Feminist Book Club
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"Ferociously moving ... despite Bennett's thrumming plot, despite the snap of her pacing, it's the always deepening complexity of her characters that provides the book's urgency." -The New York Times Book Review "Luminous... engrossing and poignant, this is one not to miss." -People, Pick of the Week
"Fantastic... a book that feels alive on the page." -The Washington Post
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, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother's recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor's son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, 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.