Jack Mckeever's Reviews > Girl, Woman, Other

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
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it was amazing

This is going to be an odd comparison on paper. And hyperbolic, although this book *is* a proper masterpiece. But not since reading Stephen King's 'The Shining' have I read a novel that flows so well, connects its constituent parts so beautifully, or uses dramatic tension to expose modern humanity so brilliantly.

Through the lives of the twelve protagonists, Evaristo examines the spectrum of black womanhood in almost every walk of modern British life. Spanning decades and occasionally centuries, Evaristo hones in on the black, female, queer perspective by way of feminism, the African diaspora, British conservatism, education, privilege, horrifying abuse and more. Whether writing about 21st century London, the Scottish border in the early 1900's or Barbados, Evaristo's writing is always beautifully evocative, acting subtly as a foundation for the lives of these women, represented more directly via fluid dialogue and socio-political righteousness.

Not only does the book amplify these women's voices. It also delivers a uniquely diverse, honest and resonant perspective on how time and circumstance can change perspectives. These women have made Britain their home, but as Dominique reflects towards the end of the novel, Britain is merely a mirage in terms of true identity:

'I love Britain too, Ams, although less so every time I return. It's become a living memory for me. Britain feels in the past, even when I'm in its present'.

Ultimately, Evaristo exemplifies the multi-faceted, sometimes terrifying but also wholesome impact heritage can have. And with snippets of classic romanticism and reality-checking humanism, it's a book that deserves to appear alongside the classics.
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Reading Progress

August 17, 2020 – Started Reading
August 17, 2020 – Shelved
September 3, 2020 – Finished Reading

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