This fantastic debut novel blew me away. If, as an adult reader, you wished for a book akin to something like what Jason Reynolds or Angie Thomas writes for teens- this is it.
This is the book you suggest for your book club in 2020 or hand to your neighbor. It’s smart, funny, and entirely relatable. You’ll see yourself in at least one of the characters. Somehow this hard-hitting look at race relations lands gently on the reader.
Race, privilege, long-held grudges, and some seriously deranged main characters appear throughout this gripping story. But, it’s all believable, which is critical to me as a reader.
Emira is a twenty-five-year-old college graduate who, for one reason or another, hasn’t quite figured out her career plans and so she works a couple of jobs to get by. One night she babysits Briar, wealthy and white Alix’s daughter, and then gets confronted by a security guard at a supermarket, accusing her of kidnapping the white child. That sets the stage for the rest of this novel, which twists around in ways I never expected. Alix and her husband are horrified and repeatedly awkwardly apologize to Emira, only making things worse. Throw in the guy who witnessed and videoed the exchange at the store, and although Emira wants to forget it, none of the white people involved will let her.
You get to know all the characters so well and can see how they, in their minds, justify some awful behavior towards each other. Except for 2-year-old Briar, who is a treasure!
My thanks to the publisher for the advance review copy.
Hardcover, 320 pages Expected publication: December 31st, 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons