Title: The Mothers
Author: Brit Bennett
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: 2016
Summary: During the summer before college, Nadia Turner mourns her mother’s recent suicide while hooking up with the local pastor’s son and former football star, Luke Sheppard, and by befriending Aubrey, who quickly becomes her best friend. Soon, Nadia, Aubrey, and Luke are full-fledged adults who are caught in a love triangle and dealing with the choices they made during that fateful summer.
The Love Triad That Could
I know the love triangle trope can be annoying to some people, but I’m okay with it as long as it isn’t forced into the storyline just to add drama. For this book, I did not feel like the love triangle was forced and served the story well. From my understanding, love triangles seem to be someone chasing one person who is chasing the first person. The Mothers did not present this type of love triangle.
Each person involved in the triangle had a deep and emotional relationship with the other people involved. Nadia loves Aubrey and Luke. Luke loves Aubrey and Nadia. Aubrey loves Luke and Nadia. That dynamic creates a constant tension in the novel, and that dynamic kept me engaged from beginning to the end of Brit Bennett’s debut novel.
Military Brats Represent!
As a former military brat, it was really cool to see that represented in literature! I have never experienced that prior to The Mothers, and to have it be a black military family on top of that was icing on the chocolate cake! It makes me want to see more stories like this. If anyone has read a book that has a POC military family, then please share in the comments, so I can keep getting my life to this.
I also like that it wasn’t the typical military brat experience of moving around all the time. When I tell people I grew up in a military family, they want to know all the places I lived in, but it was only my dad who got to traipse around the world. I only got to move back and forth between a few states. It was cool to read how Nadia basically grew up in the same area, even though her father was in the Marine Corps because I graduated with a kid who lived his entire life on the same base.
No Neat Ending
One of the aspects that can kill a book experience for me is a lackluster ending. I am happy to say The Mothers doesn’t fall short in the ending department. I was also happy the ending was not wrapped into a perfect bow with a sweet happily ever after. The book ends with speculation and innuendo, and I adored it. I was left with mixture of satisfaction and uneasiness because of the ending. I wanted more of the story because of the ending. For me, that is the sign of an excellent read.
I don’t remember how I came to know about The Mothers, but I’m glad I did because I enjoyed every part of this read, even though I didn’t know what to expect while reading it. The story tells of a black experience that I have yet to read, which is always good when showing that we are, in fact, not a monolith. However, I was left wanting more once the story was over. I guess that is something that can be explored in the adaptation. Yes, this is definitely a story that I would like to see adapted.
Carpe Librum: Even though The Mothers left me wanting for more, I still say this book is a must read. It seems like lots of books lately are retellings of older stories or books that remind you of other books. The Mothers is none of that! It feels fresh. It feels original. It feels current. Read it. You will not be disappointed.
So…have you read The Mothers? Are you a fan of love triangles? Are you a military brat? Let us know in the comments! |RL
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