Before starting this book I was totally convinced I was going to be thoroughly underwhelmed by it. I’ve read tonnes of brilliant books exploring race and gender recently and it’s starting to feel a bit run of the mill. However, after hearing many of my friends singing the praises of Evaristo’s Booker Prize winner, I decided to give it a shot, only to discover my prejudices were completely unfounded.
This wonderful novel spans generations and combines the power of 12 startling voices to share the experiences of British women of color. Mainly set in London we hear the story of a proud black lesbian playwright, her sassy super-feminist daughter and a sexually fluid millennial, just to name a couple.
Evaristo is a superb writer and plays with structure, grammar and syntax in a way that gives a certain sharpness to hard-hitting moments and breaks in fluidity to provide emphasis, focus and double-meaning. Each story reads like verse but has a unique flow and feel matching the character’s personalities. Her writing is full of wit and I was constantly chuckling.
I cannot wait to read The Emperor’s Babe, the next of Evaristo’s books which I plant to take on as a part of my Black History Month challenge to myself, and I’m sure I’ll have her whole backlist sitting on my shelves shortly!
It’s Black History Month in the UK and I decided this year I should finally get round to reading some of those incredible stories that I haven’t quite made time for yet.
I can definitely see why this books is a bit love it or hate it. The story of Dexter and Em is given to us in snapshots, Starting from their meeting at uni up to their late 30s, the book oozes sexual tension, but with an increasingly dark edge which reminded me of Sally Rooney’s novels.
Girl, Serpent, Thorn has a wonderful fairy-tale feel, combining Persian mythology with elements of Sleeping Beauty, to give us the story of a girl who is poisonous to the touch as she is determined to find her place in the magical world around her.