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Publisher's Summary

A dazzling debut novel from an exciting new voice, The Mothers is a surprising story about young love, a big secret in a small community - and the things that ultimately haunt us most.

Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, Brit Bennett's mesmerizing first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret.

"All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we'd taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season."

It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, 17-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother's recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor's son. Luke Sheppard is 21, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it's not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance - and the subsequent cover-up - will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.

In entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a "what if" can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever.

©2016 Brit Bennett (P)2016 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Brit Bennett is the real thing. The Mothers is a stellar novel - moving, thoughtful. Stunning. I couldn't put it down. I'm so excited to have this brilliant new voice in the world." (Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award-winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming and Another Brooklyn)
"Brit Bennett's The Mothers is a brilliant exploration of friendship, desire, inheritance, the love we seek, and the love we settle for. It is the kind of book that from its first page seduces you into knowing that the heartbreak coming will be worth it." (Danielle Evans, author of Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self)
"Brit Bennett is so bracingly talented on the page... [ The Mothers is] astute and absorbing and urgent." (Jezebel)
"Brit Bennett's absorbing debut novel, set in Southern California's black community, gets a sensitive narration by Adenrele Ojo... Ojo's voice is smooth as honey and prickly as thistles when portraying the gossipy mothers who relentlessly poke at the secret until nothing remains hidden." ( AudioFile)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Preachy Cautionary Tale about Abortion

While the story was engaging enough, ultimately it was too preachy for me. The chapters start with church mothers talking but honestly those sections detracted rather than added to the story. The characters weren't really believable to me. I didn't care for the way the reader over enunciated words. In sum, I just didn't like this book

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Lacks understanding, depth and compassion

Would you try another book from Brit Bennett and/or Adenrele Ojo?

I would absolutely not try another book by the author.

Has The Mothers turned you off from other books in this genre?

No.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The reading was fine.

Any additional comments?

This book failed to capture any real nuance, understanding or compassion for the main character. There are already enough voices projecting onto women how they feel or ought to feel about abortion, especially by people who have never faced the decision themselves. Unfortunately now there is one more. The writing wasn't anything special. Lots of attempts at illuminating analogies that fell flat.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

love the narrator's voice

the narrator's voice makes the book. I listen to every book she narrates. I hope she does more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

anti-choice propaganda

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

it should come it a warning. it is for the anti-choice public only...and one that heavily leans misogynistic at that

Has The Mothers turned you off from other books in this genre?

no

How could the performance have been better?

by not implying the the life of a successful, well traveled female lawyer life would have been better if she stayed behind with her looser drunk boyfriend

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

no, no redeeming qualities. how can one prescribe the idea of dismissing academic and career success that elevates one above their conditions. horrible message for girls. that hard work ans success will not give you happiness... only babies can do that. ouch!!!!

Any additional comments?

I kept listening the book thinking, that the story would turn around, surely... it did not.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible

This is one of the worst books I've read in a very long time. Reading it is like watching an episode of a very bad teen tv series. And to make things worse, the narrator reads like a robot. A total disappointment!

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story!

Great story about innonence, regrets and life coming full circle. Great addition to my audible collection!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

it was ok

I read it for class (my professor knows the author). There were parts that felt rushed, but overall it was ok.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

I was able to relate to so much in this book. great voice and writing.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Like Looking in a Mirror

The book is beautiful in a tragic, train-wreck-you-can’t-look-away-from sort of way. Listening to this book felt like exactly what it feels like to grow up as a Christian-adjacent woman. I’m not a black woman, but I strongly suspect Ojo got that feeling exactly right too. I was saddened by my own life while listening to the character’s lives play out before me. It makes me want to assign this book to men in Feminist Studies classes in college.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

The Mothers

Very good book except lots of loose ends. Why did her mom kill her self? Was this why she could never commit. What was the problem with her and her father?
Will there be book 2, a sequel.


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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amy
  • 10-16-17

somewhat boring, which could be it's brilliance.

not much exciting happened, if it was a physical book, I may not have finished.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-20-17

Great start...poor ending

Really enjoyed the first three quarters did not l8ke the ending...it could have been so much more. All through the book I had felt connected to the characters but did not feel the ending gave enough insight into their feelings and thoughts about the decisions and choices that they made in the end.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Tracey
  • 05-11-17

Not for me

Just couldn't get into this book.
The reviews were great and was ready for the journey but unfortunately I could not persist.