Anna: Three Women is hands-down the most original book I’ve read all year. Inspired by the stories of three real women, Lisa Taddeo explores how women are blamed and othered for showing any kind of sexuality that goes against the norm.
My favorite story to read was Maggie’s, who had an inappropriate relationship with her teacher when she was in high school. Looking back on it years later she realizes that she was taken advantage of, but when she presses charges no one wants to see the truth.
This is a slow but explosive book that shows how women are systematically shamed and repressed. It’s not exactly hopeful, but it’s important, and something I’m going to be thinking about for a long time.
VERDICT: 4 books
This is a beautifully written, important book that deserves more attention. When Mary was eight, she killed the baby that she and her mom were babysitting…allegedly. After she’s released from jail as a teenager, Mary lives in a group home where she is harassed endlessly by the other girls. Meanwhile, she can’t remember what happened that night that baby Alyssa died- the night that landed her in jail for years.
This book is about a lot of things. It’s about a mother’s responsibility to her child, it’s about the corrupt prison system and the state, it’s about the mistreatment of blacks in the justice system. I loved Mary as a character who wants to take the SAT and go to college, who loves her mother and finds the strength in her to trust those trying to help her despite everything that’s happened to her.
Sometimes I find it hard to connect with YA because it can be superficial. This is not the case at all with Allegedly. Mary is a character in a position where she can’t even attend high school or afford an SAT prep book. It’s a perspective I’m not used to reading in YA. This is a heartbreaking and eye-opening read that I recommend to everybody.
VERDICT: 5 stars
You decide: which of these memoirs should I read in May? I’m continuing my 2019 goal of reading at least one memoir a month!
Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward
Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
My Life with Bob by Pamela Paul
In honor of Black History Month, I wanted to take some time to talk about an important writer.
Last year, I read Kindred by Octavia Butler, the pioneer of African-American women science fiction writers.
Kindred deals with a smorgasbord of hard topics: slavery, racism, rape, and death. Butler utilizes time travel in order to explore the ancestors of Dana, the main character, who were slaves in the American South. The result is a harrowing read that explores the horrors of slavery and the interconnection of past and present.
If you’re looking for a good read to finish out the month of February, check it out!