The Mothers
3.96/5 by 8434 users

The Mothers

by

A dazzling debut novel from an exciting new voice, The Mothers is a surprising story about young love, a big secret in a small community—and the things that ultimately haunt us most. Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, Brit Bennett’s mesmerizing first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret.

“All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we’d taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season.”

It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.

In entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a “what if” can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever.

Title:The Mothers
Edition Language:English
ISBN:0399184511
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:278 pages

    The Mothers Reviews

  • Roxane
    Jun 26, 2016

    The Mothers is an outstanding, engaging debut novel. The story follows two teenagers, Nadia and Luke, who fall in love as teenagers and how they come together and fall apart over the years. This is al...

  • Larry Hoffer
    Dec 05, 2016

    I'd rate this between 4 and 4.5 stars, closer to the latter.There's an incredible sense of longing that pervades Brit Bennett's terrifically compelling debut novel, The Mothers . There's longing for ...

  • Elyse
    Oct 18, 2016

    I can see why this novel is getting 'buzz'. "All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we'd taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of a...

  • Maxwell
    Oct 15, 2016

    There's no denying that Brit Bennett can craft a great sentence. She's able to evoke so much emotion in a turn of phrase. But those moments are few and far between in this story of hard decisions, lif...

  • Book Riot Community
    Dec 09, 2016

    I’m so obsessed with this book and so glad I read it and didn’t let it fall back on my TBR. It was quick and satisfying read, and it’s written very elegantly. Though it tackles topics that could...

  • Diane S ?
    Dec 19, 2016

    The entwined lives of three teens in an African American community in Southern, California. Nadia, whose mother recently committed suicide and Aubrey, whose mother has chosen her boyfriend over her, a...

  • Jennifer
    Oct 17, 2016

    “The book, I think, is about this central question of how girls grow into women when the female figures who are supposed to usher you into womanhood aren’t there. How girls come of age with tha...

  • Jessica Weil
    Sep 23, 2016

    In her elegant debut novel, Brit Bennett explores the concept of motherhood in its many forms, centered around a complicated friendship between two teenage girls.Still grieving after her mother’s su...

  • Alaina
    Mar 20, 2016

    When I finished the last page of this book, I wasn't immediately sure how I felt about it. It is definitely flawed, there are things that could have been done better, themes and characters that could ...

  • Jessica Woodbury
    Jun 01, 2016

    The Mothers is at heart a simple book about a few people over a relatively short period of time. But it feels revolutionary because these characters are normal, everyday, middle-class people of color....

About Brit Bennett

Brit Bennett

Born and raised in Southern California, Brit Bennett graduated from Stanford University and later earned her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan, where she won a Hopwood Award in Graduate Short Fiction as well as the 2014 Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers. Her work is featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and Jezebel.The Mothers is her first nov