Book Review: Girl, Woman, Other - Bernardine Evaristo

by @edent | | 1 comment

Book cover featuring a Black woman wearing a colourful headscarf.

This is Britain as you've never read 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…

There are two things to note before you read this (brilliant) book. Firstly, it's written in an idiosyncratic style which eschews formal sentence structure and punctuation. It makes the first few chapters a little tricky to read - but soon fades into the background.

Secondly, there's a lot of sexual and emotional assault.

Both of those facets made it an uncomfortable read for me. But it was well worth persevering. It's a multigenerational, multicultural, multilayered story spanning a vast array of Black British womanhood.

Part soap-opera, and part howl of rage, it's a compelling set of tales. Not quite short stories, but a set of page-turning tales. You'll undoubtedly recognise some of the people in here - and get a little glimpse into the lives of people you may never have met.

Easy to see why this has won a range of literary prizes. A brilliant novel - once you get into it.

One thought on “Book Review: Girl, Woman, Other - Bernardine Evaristo

  1. Agree. Brilliant book. I loved how it toured Britain and spanned generations.

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