April’s Book: The Mothers by Britt Bennett

Our April Book is The Mothers, Brit Bennett’s debut novel, published last year. Bennett tells the story of Nadia Turner’s girlhood in California and her time in college at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Shifting perspectives from the old women in her church community to Nadia and her friends, the novel shares secrets and their unravelling with us. A young black female voice, Bennett adds to contemporary literature a fresh pair of eyes, a powerful voice, and complicated characters that cant be contained neatly: this novel is not about race, or women, or any obvious type of social activism topic. Instead, it tells a story about love and betrayal, almost Shakespearean in its purity of plot but negotiating the heroine’s development through the material conditions of marginalized southern Californian lived experience.