adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $28.00

Buy for $28.00

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 

“Bittersweet, sexy, morally fraught.” (The New York Times Book Review)

"Luminous… engrossing and poignant, this is one not to miss." (People, Pick of the Week) 

"Fantastic… a book that feels alive on the page." (The Washington Post)

The beloved New York Times best-selling novel about young love and a big secret in a small community, from the author of The Vanishing Half

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)

Featured Article: Outstanding Black Authors Across Various Genres and Styles


Stories have the power not only to transport us, but to allow us to connect, understand, and feel represented. The work of phenomenal Black authors—like those featured in this list—has expanded the ambition, scope, and perspective of storytelling. These must-hear titles from some of the best Black authors of all time are also indisputably some of the most remarkable works of literature in both the contemporary and historical canon.

What listeners say about The Mothers

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    730
  • 4 Stars
    469
  • 3 Stars
    238
  • 2 Stars
    50
  • 1 Stars
    18
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    876
  • 4 Stars
    279
  • 3 Stars
    130
  • 2 Stars
    31
  • 1 Stars
    15
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    605
  • 4 Stars
    417
  • 3 Stars
    217
  • 2 Stars
    63
  • 1 Stars
    26

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • T
  • 06-26-19

anti abortion message dampens the enjoyment

First of all, the prose is lyrical and beautiful, and the narration is solemn and coy. These are interlocking charactef storylines whivh are realistic and at times overbearingly spiritual. it speaks to a subculture that is dying as previous earlier generations leave this plane of existence. That said, the anti-abortion sentiment leaks throughout. Consistently, it is associated with shame, regret, and wondering of what could have been . . . it is referred to as a sin over and over, and the character who chooses reproductive freedom is ostracized from her community and family. Because of this, I am not sure I can recommend this book in good faith because I feel that too much of popular culture ferishizes and celebrates what is a alreqdy a heavy private decision. It is too easy to portray this aspect of abortion and many many many times the author felt it necessary to repeat these sentinents in an unnecessary way. The book is beautiful and ugly simultaneously, but in attempting to portray the nuances, the author relies too much on the negative aspects.

33 people found this helpful

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

Disappointed

This book is nothing but pro life propaganda. If I had known this I would not have wasted my time and listened to this book. It is a good thing that I read The Vanishing Half first because that book was excellent. This book is a total waste of time. However the narration was very good.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    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!

8 people found this 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.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • A
  • 01-24-19

An amazing story that takes you on a ride

I loved this story and this audio book! The author took me on an emotional roller coaster of a girl growing into a woman, the mistakes she makes, the relationships she develops, and the acceptance of the life and choices she has lived.

6 people found this helpful

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

Great book

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

6 people found this helpful

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

5 people found this helpful

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

12 people found this helpful

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

Why friendships go awry over a man

"We all have loved an ain't shit man. 2 types of men in this world, men that are and men who ain't about shit. A girl nowadays got get up close to tell if her man ain't shit and by then it may be too late. It's something to love somebody that can never love you back... it's kind of freeing in it's own way. Ain't nothing wrong with loving an ain't shit man as long as you get it out of your system. " This book is my far one of the best books I've read this year. I'm beating myself up for overlooking it. Two friends Nadia and Audrey, go through some of the worst things, like molestation, and death of a mother. Nadia and Luke the pastors son, messed around when they were young and got pregnant, not wanting to disappoint their family they had an abortion. Luke's parent's give him the money for the abortion, and his mom starts to treat Nadia bad. Aubrey came into the picture after her mother's boyfriend was molesting her, she left her moms and went to live with her lesbian sister and mate. The girls became the best of friends, then Nadia goes off to college and lives a great life. while away luke and Aubrey starts dating, later getting married. Time had flown by and they never told Aubrey that they had something between them. The story gets juicier......I'm not gonna tell you it all, go get you a copy and read this book. #book21of2019 #bookworm #whatsnext #highlyrecommended

3 people found this 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.

9 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dohm64
  • Dohm64
  • 09-15-20

Abortion thread felt pro-life and 1-dimensional

This story turns out to be about how an abortion unravels an entire community and I wasn’t expecting that as a contemporary arch. Having LOVED The Vanishing Half, this felt very different

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Shamane Lee McKnight
  • Shamane Lee McKnight
  • 04-19-20

Amazing Book

Such an amazing book, looking forward to Brit Bennett's next release this summer. I have both listened and read this book and would highly recommend to all.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Punam Madan Patel
  • Punam Madan Patel
  • 11-16-20

Emotional and well written

Great story about 2 young girls and their relationships with their mothers and how it affects their lives. The narration is really good and the book is excellent with emotional prose. Easy to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 10-01-21

Biased anti-abortion story

I was conflicted throughout this book as I couldn’t believe this story could be so biased and was constantly waiting for a more balanced view on Nadias decision to have an abortion but after finishing the whole thing it seems obvious of the authors anti abortion bias. The narrative and language was significantly weighted towards the negative side constantly using the term “baby” and rarely stating any of the positives from pro choice. Really disappointing especially by a young female author.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Yellow
  • Yellow
  • 06-08-21

Interesting journey into motherhood

The story of ’unpregnant’ mothers and their daughters is how I’d describe this book. Are mothers who abandon their children trying to make themselves ‘unpregnant’? The way young girls and women make themselves ‘unpregnant’ through abortion? What’s the cost of cutting that cord between a mother and her child? These are the questions this tender book asks. This is a story so delicately woven. The church mothers as the chorus the final arbiter of this story is so poignant. They live on and on in every generation each dying and then rebirthing.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Wandel
  • Wandel
  • 05-20-21

Allright

The story is nice for a debut but didn’t sweep me away. And the reader was not my reader. She so explicitly articulated all words separately. Things like ‘they’d’ are pronounced as two words. Annoyed me. Still I finished the book so it wasn’t too bad.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for TheRealMrsB
  • TheRealMrsB
  • 04-06-21

Very enjoyable

I enjoyed this book. I loved the way it was written. Narration was well performed. The story handled some challenging themes, which ultimately we all have differing views about. The author presented an insight into a community that was both embracing yet sufficating at the same time.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Candy
  • Candy
  • 08-15-20

Spoilt by the narrator!

On the whole I enjoyed this book, I liked the concepts it explored and the story it told. However, it was completely ruined for me by the narrator reading most of it as if to a five-year-old.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-09-20

engaging story

enjoyed listening to this story . loved the ending
characters face heartening life challenges successfully

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for miss kishma samuel
  • miss kishma samuel
  • 07-15-20

loved it

i loved it. such a love story between generations and different types of love. Was captivated from the first chapter until the last.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • 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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tracey
  • 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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amy
  • 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.