12 women, 12 stories across multiply generations, Britain and around the world, Bernadine Evaristo complex and diverse cast makes you cry, get angry and helps you learn something new.
The collection of stories take you on multiply journeys, all connected by mothers, daughters and friends as we get down to the real meaning of being human and female.
The opening chapter introduces us to Amma a woman who has an eventful upbringing while breaking into London theater scene. We branch of from there and we further meet Yazz, Amma daughter and Dominique her best friend both woman are not short of there own problems and issues that they face.
Then we get to meet the hard working career driven Carole that harbors the scars of a tragic event, her mother Bummi who had her own struggles and sacrifices she has made for her daughter and Latisha an old school friend of Carole who is trying to escape her past and build a better future.
Further along comes Shirley- who is 'friends' with Amma and Dominque, headstrong and out to make a difference for her community but her struggles are up hill, her mother Winsome facing prejudice around every corner when bringing up Shirley and her boys and carving a path for them but Winsome is not all she seems to be. Then there is Penelope who could not understand why she was different from her parents until she did and vowed to lead a better life than them.
Lastly we meet Megan who goes through a journey of self discovery to break out of there mold and emerge as Morgan. Her Grandmother Hattie who has a rich history and a hidden secret and Great Grandmother Grace who's perseverance set up her generations to come, but couldn't get there before going through some of her darkest years.
All the stories are interwoven , intriguing and uplifting, some will leave you reeling with rage, others sadness and glimmers of hope. Another thing that I did love about the book is how we got to explore all the different characters. There was no saint, sinner no person who was correct or wrong and definitely no right way to be a human, and this story does and excellent job reflecting this.