by Brit Bennett
Such a good read. Very unique structure, with the two sisters, who are twins, and then their two daughters, being main point of view characters. The jumps in time also made it feel unique, as did the third-person omniscient point of view. And interesting perspective on racism. Racism occurs inside and outside of a particular race. This story highlights the racism within the Black community based on lightness and darkness of skin color, and places it at a particular time in history and different geographical locations. It also highlights how two siblings from the same family can take very different paths in life and how that affects them individually and as part of their larger family unit.
While I found all of the characters interesting, I didn’t always like them. Liking them wasn’t really the point. Understanding their complexity and the motivations for their actions seemed to be the point. My favorite character was Jude, the daughter of Stella, one of the twin sisters.
This felt like literary fiction to me, and I found the writing wonderful. I do think some people will find the third person omniscient “head-hopping” a bit jarring, and may be frustrated by the jumps in time and character. I’ve heard a few readers say they wished the story was just told from the twin sisters’ points of view. But I actually really liked that they included their daughters and showed how the mothers’ choices and lives affected the next generation.