Girl, Woman, Other
By Bernardine Evaristo
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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.Tweet
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Really enjoyed this book of interlinked short stories/portraits of black women. Each one has a different perspective, each one has problems and struggles in a different way with being black in a predominantly white and hostile society yet each one manages to be positive and uplifting. And the ending of the final story left me with such a warm glow. Highly recommended.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was a kaleidoscope of diverse female characters and their stories all interlinked with an almost invisible common thread, where for the most part the women were struggling with their race, sexuality and cultural backgrounds.
However, the majority of the characters within the book rose above their challenging lives to some form of fulfillment and clarity. Their lives and times were engaging with interesting commonality, despite spanning a century in time over some of the characters arcs.
The conclusion was short and sweet, but I felt it deserved more time and depth in relation to the wealth of detail contained prior to the ending.
Heartwarming, funny, engaging and brilliantly written. I loved the grammatical style and the way that you were able to get into the lives of each of the characters. The style was refreshing and grabbed your attention from one paragraph to the next. It flowed beautifully and I loved how it all linked together towards the end.
The characters were mostly enjoyable and interesting but perhaps one or two stories too many. By the end I had to go back to earlier chapters to put the pieces together. A ‘family tree’ would have been useful at the end.
Overall, it was enlightening to get into the mind-set of this diverse group of women with different experiences and backgrounds from your own and have so much fun.
Really loved this witty, sassy, insightful and beautifully crafted story of 12 women. I liked how the connections between all of the characters were gradually revealed throughout the book and how everything was brought together at the end. You had a real sense of what made each character tick from the way the author described their thoughts and emotions - it was like stepping into their mind. I'm proud of growing up in a multicultural city but the book still challenged my perceptions of racism and gave me an insight into the barriers black women and women in general face.
Wonderful! Our reading group was lucky enough to be reading this as shadowing for the Booker Prize, and it's my favourite book that we've read so far. Funny, moving, witty, I found there was so much that resonated with me. I loved some characters, disliked a couple, empathised with most. The web of connections was fascinating, and I enjoyed peeling back the layers to see how they all fitted together. The author's way of writing flows so easily, it's a pleasure to read. I'm already looking forward to reading it again.
There were some parts of this book I found enjoyable - I found the Epilogue very heart warming but on the whole I didn't feel engaged with it.
I didn't expect to enjoy this book as it is so far from my experience, but it drew me in as each of the twelve interconnected lives are described. I gained an insight into worlds I know little about, i.e. the experiences of black women in 20th/21st Century Britain. The characters are sympathetically drawn, and it is often funny and subversive, but not always in an expected way. I would have liked to hear more male voices (there is a brief glimpse in the After-Party chapter) and the ending while emotionally satisfying was in my view too good to be true. Nonetheless, I am glad that my reading group had the opportunity to shadow the Booker Prize courtesy of the Reading Agency.