Wednesday 18 November 2020

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo Book Review

 I have always believed that books are there to inspire, to empower and to give greater knowledge to those who read them.

Some books are absolutely necessary and I feel that Girl, Woman, Other is one of those books.

I'll admit it, it took me quite some time to read this book, both in how long it took me to initially pick up the book and by the length of time it took me to devour it.

I'm not sure why it took me so long to grab it off of my to be read pile, it was one of those that I kept saying I must read but then deciding on another novel instead.

This is Britain as you've never seen it.

This is Britain as it has never been told.

From Newcastle to Cornwall, from the birth of the twentieth century to the teens of the twenty-first, Girl Woman Other follows a cast of twelve characters on their personal journeys through this country and the last hundred years. They're each looking for something - a shared past, an unexpected future, a place to call home, somewhere to fit in, a lover, a missed mother, a lost father, even just a touch of hope . . .

When I finally read it, it wasn't done with the speed that I sometimes read. Instead I did it in stages. Choosing to really savour each character, every chapter. Making sense of what was being said and the messages that I felt were being portrayed.

A worthy (joint) winner of the Book Prize.

Girl, Woman, Other tells us about the lives of 12 women, each with their own story to tell. Their lives are all cleverly linked to one another in some shape or form. They were grouped in four sets of three with each grouping having a more precise link.

I think this element really gave the book an extra depth and by the time I came to the end, I was highly satisfied as it seemed to come round in one full circle.

I'll honestly admit that I didn't quite know what to expect, despite reading many reviews and seeing an abundance of mentions for this book, I guess I still wasn't prepared for what I got. The word interesting doesn't do this book justice but I'm not quite sure what other word correctly depicts what I want to say.

In a day and age where we are looking deeper into black history and what it means, I feel that Benardine Evaristo has done her upmost to help us all make sense of those feelings and emotions that come alongside not necessarily being black but simply different.

Whether that be race, gender, religion, class, culture etc.

This book showcases all of the emotions that people go through when faced with diversity.

In the end I felt togetherness.


With each page I read, the more poetic the story felt. 

Although the one thing that did bother me throughout was the lack of punctuations, capital letters etc. I'm sure it was done for effect but it bothered the grammar police person in me.

Over all I was impressed.

This is an enriching novel that provides warmth, wonder and worthwhile literature.

If you've read Girl, Woman, Other I'd love to know what you thought of it.

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