The library’s Well-being Reading Group has been going strong since March this year, and were recently chosen to be one of the select few groups nationally to shadow the Booker Prize. We received copies of Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other, and read it though September and October as one of our reading group books. You can see our full review below.
Well, the Booker Prize winners have been announced, and hooray, the book we read has won! Bernardine Evaristo is the joint winner (a first!) alongside Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments. We feel so proud that the book we were reading came out on top, and even more honoured to have been selected to read it! If you’d like to know more about our reading group, or if you’d like to read Girl, Woman, Other, please get in touch- we have a copy in our Time Out collection, ready to be borrowed.
Our Review of Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other.
Our group were really excited to shadow Girl, Woman, Other and it didn’t disappoint.
Most of us loved this story of the experiences of 12 different generations of women. Connections between the characters are gradually unveiled throughout the book, adding layers of insight into each character. It’s full of humour and spot-on observations of modern life many of us could identify with.
This is a book where you really get to know the main characters. Their feelings, personality and insecurities are skilfully drawn as they face personal, sexual or racial challenges. We felt it was like stepping into the mind of each woman. By contrast, men are neglected in the book – it’s not until the final chapter we learn more about Roland and Sylvester.
Many expected to struggle with the writing style and lack of punctuation but most thought this helped the book flow and portray the personality of the characters. However some of the group felt separate chapters made the book disjointed and that it could be a collection of short stories. Some of us noticed a change in pace or language between Dominique and Carole but couldn’t pinpoint how the author achieved this.
We liked how the book gives a voice to older women, despite our disapproval of Winsome’s betrayal! The oldest character Hattie, with her razor-sharp observations, no-nonsense attitude and dislike of her own children was by far our favourite.
Girl, Woman, Other explores class, sexuality, sexism and racism but we felt that ultimately it was a celebration of individualism and personal determination.
There’s tough opposition amongst the other shortlisted Booker Prize titles but it’s already a winner in our eyes.