Title: Girl, Woman, Other
Author: Bernadine Evaristo
Length: 453 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books
This novel (like many people, I’m sure) was bought to my attention because of the Booker Prize, so I decided to pick up a copy.
Synopsis: This is Britain as you’ve never read it. This is Britain as it has never been told. From the top of the country to the bottom, across more than a century of change and growth and struggle and life, Girl, Woman, Other follows twelve very different characters on an entwined journey of discovery. It is future, it is past. It is fiction, it is history. It is a novel about who we are now.
Like I said, this book won The Booker Prize (along with Margaret Atwood for ‘The Testaments’) and that’s how it was brought to my attention, and I’m a sucker for a prize winner. I’ll be forever grateful to the Booker Prize for bringing this to my attention, I fear it would’ve passed me by otherwise.
I can’t explain how much I loved this book, but I guess I’ve got to try and explain otherwise this wouldn’t be much of a blog post.
It’s told through the perspectives of 12 womxn. Each character gets their own chapter and I’m amazed at how Bernadine has crafted the story so cohesively. Each one is full of heart, love, depth. You learn so much about these characters in the chapters, you really come to care for them. It’s a glimpse into modern day Britain through the eyes of these magnificent characters.
What’s really great about this book is how Bernadine connects them all. It’s genius. It’s so subtle. Sometimes they’re best friends, sometime student/teacher, sometimes employee/employer. It really combines the novel as a whole. It gives it a wonderful fluidity.
Full of powerful messages told through exquisite, impactful prose, the stories resonate because they are basically a glimpse into each characters soul. It’s one of those books that I read slowly, carefully. Mainly because I didn’t want it to end, but also because I didn’t want to miss a single word. It’s the kind of book that captures your heart.
‘Girl, Woman, Other’ is a book I can’t forget. I look back on it and smile. If feels like Bernadine has written a love letter to Black womxn, to Britain, and the human race.
As soon as I read it I knew there would be no doubt in my mind that this will be in my Top 10 books of the year, to be honest it’s probably one of new favourites of all time. This book has a special quality that I can’t put my finger on. My review will never be able to do it justice.
I recommend this book to everyone. It’s a must read. I read it a while ago and I still think of it. In fact I think I’m due a reread to relive some of the magic. I also own two copies of this book, that’s how much I love it.
Please know there are other reviews out there that will do this book the justice it deserves. I also need to buy everything else Bernardine has written.
I seriously can not recommend this book enough. There is just something about it. Do yourself a favour and read it, you will not regret it. It’s out now.
Until the next review