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Book 10: Silver Sparrow–Tayari Jones

This is another book that I came across through one of those lists that circulate of “books all black girls should read” or “the essential books black women should read in their 20s” or “the definitive list of black woman authors every black woman PERSON should know” or something of that sort. I thought it would be nice to add some more contemporary fiction to a list of books that are otherwise focused on heavy subject matter or are the autobiographies of women with tremendous lives.

This was a fantastic story! And it was great to read a book that allowed me to get out of my head; I didn’t pick up a pencil to underline or write notes in the margin one time. It was another strangely timed read, with all the sudden surges in reality shows about polygamy on TLC, mostly centered around white families (it used to just be Sister Wives, but now there’s Seeking Sister Wife, and some other show). This was the story of a Black man with two families–a bigamist–told first from the perspective of the family who knew they were the “other” family, and then from the perspective of the family who thought they were the ONLY family.

There were so many opportunities for the novel to get corny or just ridiculous, but the author navigated the details of each character’s story line, and integrated them with each other, flawlessly. I would definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a good story that is intriguing, entertaining, and at times incredibly poignant, but doesn’t leave you mentally exhausted.

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