At the beginning of the book Emira is approached by a supermarket security officer and is accused of ‘kidnapping’ the white child that she is babysitting, Briar. Following on from this comes a chain of events that change Emira’s life in the long run. After this explosive beginning, Alix her employer, makes it her mission to set things right, and make Emira feel more like family. But does this work? Or does it just make Emira feel more alien to her employer and her family? Emira then meets someone who is from Alix’s past, which brings up what you could call ‘childhood-trauma’ for Alix. Emira comes to a lot of realisations throughout this story, and learns how hard it is to be a black woman living in America and how easy it is for people to be racist without even meaning to!
This was another book club read for the lovely Words, Wine & Wit Book Club – click on the link to be directed to the Facebook page!
There are so so many points that I enjoyed throughout this story, and it’s hard to pinpoint anything bad – especially with it being about a life and culture that realistically, I know absolutely nothing about! Therefore, who would I be to comment on the story of a black woman, written by a black woman, when I am in fact a white woman?
I loved Emira and Briars relationship throughout the book, it was so wholesome, and for me it’s got to be one of the best parts of the book. Their connection was so lovely, Emira was almost like a big sister to Briar with the way Briar looked up to her!
I also found the portrayal of Alix to be done quite well, in that us as white people sometimes are racist without meaning to be. Some of the things that Alix says and does throughout the story are done in such a derogatory way, but she’s also clueless she is doing it, and I think some white people do the same. People do this by acting like they are ‘walking on eggshells’ around people of colour, and it is unnecessary. Alix does this a lot within the book, and like Emira, us as readers can see right through Alix, even when she can’t herself.
Another character that becomes an accessory to racism is Kelly. In my opinion, I do not like him as a character, and didn’t from the minute he was introduced. It is later discovered that Kelly actually fetishizes black women, and only dates them. This is also seen as racism, as black women are made to feel like objects by white men. I personally don’t understand how people fetishize people from their skin colour/ethnicity, because I myself don’t date people for their ethnicity, but rather their personalities. But it is so common nowadays for this to happen, and white women are the same in that some white women will also fetishize black men. This is only touched on lightly with Kelly, so I think I would like to have this delved into a little deeper perhaps.
Overall I highly rate this book to absolutely ANYONE, and I feel as though it’s an important read. I know things now that I most definitely didn’t before reading this, and I think others will feel the same! Lets be sure to educate ourselves consistently and do our bit for all people of colour in the world!
Have you read this? – Let me know your thoughts!