The Mothers by Brit Bennett
Summary: During the summer before college, Nadia Turner mourns her mother’s recent suicide while hooking up with the local pastor’s son and former football star, Luke Sheppard, and by befriending Aubrey, who quickly becomes her best friend. Soon, Nadia, Aubrey, and Luke are full-fledged adults who are caught in a love triangle and dealing with the choices they made during that fateful summer.
The Love Triad That Could
I know the love triangle trope can be annoying to some readers, but I’m okay with it as long as the love triangle isn’t forced into the storyline just to add drama. For The Mothers, I did not feel the love triangle was forced. In fact, it served the story well. From my understanding, love triangles seem to be someone chasing one person who is chasing the first person. The Mothers did not present this type of love triangle.
Each person involved in the triangle had a deep and emotional relationship with the other two people involved. Nadia loves Aubrey and Luke. Luke loves Aubrey and Nadia. Aubrey loves Luke and Nadia. That dynamic created a constant tension in the The Mothers, and that dynamic kept me engaged from beginning to the end.
Military Brats Represent!
As a former military brat, it was really cool to see that experience represented in literature! I have not seen that prior to The Mothers. To have the representation come from a black military family on top of that was icing on the chocolate cake! I want to see more stories like this because the military is filled with families of color.
I also like that it wasn’t the typical military brat experience of moving around all the time. When I tell people I grew up in a military family, they want to know all the places I lived in, but only my dad got to traipse around the world. I only moved back and forth between a few states. It was cool Nadia basically grew up in the same area, even though her father was in the Marine Corps. I actually graduated high school with a kid who lived his entire life on the same base. It is a rare feat for a military brat, but it happens.
No Neat Ending
One of the aspects that kills a book experience for me is a lackluster ending. I am happy to say The Mothers doesn’t fall short in the ending department. I was happy the ending was not wrapped into a perfect bow with a sweet happily ever after. The Mothers ends with speculation and innuendo, and I adored it. It left me feeling a mixture of satisfaction and uneasiness. I wanted more of the story, but I was okay with the story being over. For me, that is the sign of an excellent read.
I don’t remember how I came to know about The Mothers, but I’m glad I did. I enjoyed every part of this book, even though I didn’t know what to expect while reading it. The story tells a black experience that I have yet to read. That good way of showing the black community is not a monolith. However, I wanted more once the story concluded. I guess that is something that can be explored in the adaptation because yes, I actually would like to see The Mothers adapted. Lucky for me, dreams do come true because Kerry Washington will produce the film adaptation of The Mothers!
Even though The Mothers left me wanting for more, I still say this book is a must read. It seems like lots of books lately are retellings of older stories or books that remind you of other books. The Mothers is none of that! It feels fresh, original, and current. Read it. The Mothers will not disappoint. Rating: Carpe Librum