The Mothers – by Brit Bennett – independent book review – Fiction

The debut novel from the author of the bestselling novel THE VANISHING HALF, THE MOTHERS is a deeply moving story of friendship among three troubled high school students and the ways in which they change and evolve over the next fifteen years. Awarded four stars on Goodreads.

But while the story focuses on the teens, it’s interestingly narrated primarily by “The Mothers” — the experienced, senior women who play such a vital role in the local church. Self-appointed do-gooders, they monitor the lives of those in the congregation, often providing assistance, sometimes meddling, always passing judgement, and occasionally causing real mischief.

Now, meet the three teens:

NADIA – Adrift after the recent death of her mother and distant from her grieving father, Nadia has trouble fitting in. Smart AND beautiful, she aspires to go away to college but some of her behaviors put that goal at risk.

AUBREY – After a childhood filled with trauma and now living with a supportive and loving sister, Aubrey turns to the church community to find stability. Naive, eager to please and good natured, she earns the affection of all who meet her.

LUKE – As the minister’s son, Luke carries some unwanted responsibilities that feel awkward to a teenage boy who only wants to play football and explore his sexuality.

Brit Bennett – Image from her Website

As the “church mothers” observe these three teens age into adulthood and speculate about the shifting relationships among the three— readers watch as all three make mistakes, struggle to forgive (themselves and each other), and explore the true meaning of love and friendship. A very insightful read into the nature of being human.

More about the author, Brit Bennett.

You may be interested in reading my review of the author’s second book, The Vanishing Half.