Reviewed by Linda Lou Brawley
Librarian II, Central Library
San Diego Union-Tribune, March 28, 2021
It’s remarkable! For the first time in its 50 years, the Booker Prize, the U.K.’s award for best fiction, was awarded to a Black woman. But that is not why I’m recommending this novel. The novel presents 12 Black British, mainly female characters, each featured in their own section. While their lives do intersect at points, they have vastly diverse backgrounds, even those with familial ties. Issues of gender identity, social class, access to education and “otherness” are explored within their day-to-day activities. Like a kaleidoscope with 12 unique colors, each turn resets the picture with one color lit a little brighter, offering the same palette, but a unique perspective. Bernardine Evaristo coined the term “fusion fiction” to describe her natural free-flowing writing style — sparsely punctuated, sans periods. It took me a while to acclimate, but it was well worth it.