The Mothers

Thoughts tmbybb by Brit Bennett, Riverhead Books 2016, 278 pages

Challenge: TOB Long List
Genre: Contemporary Lit
Type/Source: Hardback, purchased at indie bookstore
 Why I read this now: Book Club Selection

MOTIVATION for READING:  This book has received a lot of attention.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: A high school senior dates the pastor’s son after her mother’s suicide. Stuff happens, she makes a friend, she eventually goes out of state to college, and the friend becomes more than friends with that pastor’s son. All of this to a chorus of the little old church ladies.

WHAT’s GOOD: It’s about how to handle death and ambition. How to make bad assumptions and bad choices, set bad attitudes, forgive and forget. Do we ever know the true story? There is a low hum of melancholy through the whole thing. One thing I did admire was that it didn’t cater to stereotypes nor make it feel like anyone was an exception, either. Just life and crap that can happen and how humans just do and deal, that we all have our cross to bear.

What’s NOT so good: I read this last month and am having trouble remembering my reactions. I think it a wonderful debut by an author with real writing talent. I don’t recall what if anything I didn’t like so not sure what to write in this section.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Lots about motherhood. I cried and didn’t expect to. The book has many pie references, including a scene that more than just mentions pie but almost pivotal to the plot. A solid 4 slicer. I gave it a 5 on goodreads but I might be tempering now that I have some time and other books since read.

RATING: Four slices of apple pie, sweet potato pie, lemon meringue.


“Mother Agnes, rail thin, had made the apple pie, its lattices straight and ruler made.”

“The pie had angered Luke the most. A lunch may have just been a meal, but splitting dessert was intimate.”





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20 thoughts on “The Mothers

  1. aartichapati

    I have this on my audiobook queue! I hope it’s good on audio. It makes zero sense whatsoever but the cover of the book makes me think it will be an excellent audiobook edition.

  2. sarahsbookshelvesblog

    I loved this one – was one of my Top 3 of 2016. And I loved that no one truly fit into a box…it really was just about life and everyone it takes you.

      1. I thought it really highlighted how we often want something but still do the opposite and have difficulty grasping the whys and hows of decisions and communication.

  3. I am glad that this book made you feel. That was what I was hoping for, but it ended up that I wasn’t really all that moved. I am so far in the minority with this one. I didn’t hate it. In fact, I found some great positives, but it ended up being sort of a lukewarm read for me.

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