Teeming with life and crackling with energy – a love song to modern Britain and black womanhood
Girl, Woman, Other follows the lives and struggles of twelve very different characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years.
Joyfully polyphonic and vibrantly contemporary, this is a gloriously new kind of history, a novel of our times: celebratory, ever-dynamic and utterly irresistible.
This diverse novel tells the story of 12 interconnected fictional characters living in the UK: 11 black women and one black non-binary person. Each of the characters are different ages, have different backgrounds and education, different personalities, hopes, dreams and ambitions. As this book is spread across several years I found it really interesting to read about the lives of all of these people across different times, especially for those we were able to catch up with at a later point in their life. I also really liked the fact that these characters’ paths crossed on occasion, highlighting the similarities and differences between their lives.
As well as race, gender and sexuality, this mutli-layered book delves into all sorts of other topics. Each chapter has something new to offer, including motherhood, domestic abuse, rape, mental health, drugs and alcohol. It’s not an easy read at times and this certainly isn’t chick-lit, it’s hard hitting and tells a really important message. I’d say that in general this was more of a character study than a plot driven book, a true story of strength and resilience. I loved it!
If I have one criticism, it was that it was a little long and I lost track of who was who a couple of times, but that’s probably just me getting distracted!
Overall rating: “Girl, Woman, Other” is a worthy winner of the Booker Prize. Telling the story of 12 interconnected fictional characters, this is a fantastic observational novel that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend – 5 stars!