‘If a woman has to cripple herself to signal her education, talent, intellect, skills and leadership potential then so be it.’
Why Did I Read This Book?
This book has been on my ‘To Be Read’ list since seeing such great reviews of it all over my social media feeds. Call me a sheep, but I wanted to see what all the hype was about. I wanted to be part of the craze.
What Did I Think?
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of reading Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, you will LOVE this book. Like Homegoing, the stories are entwined with each other’s, with Girl, Woman, Other featuring interconnected tales about a group of black British women.
Each character gets their own chapter and you are taken on a defining journey of different experiences, feelings, backgrounds and choices. Bernardine Evaristo grants us access to the stories of how 12 women move through the world in various decades and ultimately learn about the repercussions of being a ‘woman’. Each complex and flawed in their own way, every character shows us how to live life to the full, despite the problems you may encounter.
Evaristo re-visits timeless questions about feminism and identity in the experiences she narrates. Feminist thinking is constantly challenged and explored through each character, whether they be rich or poor, gay or straight, sexually confident or sexually confused, fertile or infertile, loved or hated.
You may find the way it is written challenging at first, but if you persist, it will become easier and easier to read, allowing you to move through each chapter effortlessly. The book encapsulates black women of different generations, faiths, classes, politics and heritages, whose stories are marvelously intertwined with one another’s.
Although this book may concentrate on the everyday struggles of black women living in modern Britain, it is safe to say that you cannot escape the fascinating tales of love, happiness and creativity that each account holds.
‘I learnt first hand how women are discriminated against, which is why I became a feminist after I’d transitioned, an intersectional feminist, because it’s not just about gender but race, sexuality, class and other intersections which we mostly unthinkingly live anyway.’