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. Those of you who were at ALA Annual 2016 may have had the opportunity to see and/or meet Brit Bennett. Here she writes to librarians about her first job as a library page.
It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son, Luke Sheppard, 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. 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.
“[A] brilliant, tumultuous debut novel . . . [Bennett] shows extraordinary compassion for her flawed characters . . . an exquisitely developed story.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review