It is a part of every tragedy: reporters with mics shoved into the faces of family members grieving loss, asking if they forgive the murderer, as if the victim’s forgiveness will solve the underlying problems that precipitated the behavior. From the personal to the societal, Myisha Cherry reveals the myths and the dangers of piling onto victims’ load of grief the weight of their responsibility to forgive wrongdoers, to heal, to allow us to “move on.” From family members begging us to forgive to keep the peace, to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, Cherry unpacks both the possibility of healing and the performative aspect of forgiveness which can prevent us from making real change. This book is for every community trying to do the real work of “radical repair.” The burden of repairing our system should not be placed on the people who have been harmed by it; Myisha brilliantly details a path to aid victims on their reparative journey and in so doing, leads our communities to real change. For those who have read The 1619 Project and Myisha’s The Case for Rage, The Failures of Forgiveness is the next step in bringing radical repair to our communities.
Five adult kids, four different moms and a father who though he knows he doesn’t have the father thing in him, also gifts his children with knowledge of each other. Each Pennington also has a mother who, despite the difficulties of managing alone in London as a single Black mother, has done so with love, so when Dimple, needs her siblings, they come, and they bring years of sibling issues, laughter, and ultimately a sense of family they all need. A dark comedy that challenges flat perceptions of beauty, family, and Black Londoners that will make you laugh, cringe and cry while wishing you had siblings like the Penningtons.
In 1619, Altha is on trial for the murder of a farmer who was stampeded to death by his cows. In 1942, Violet, violently constrained by societal convention, finds solace, a connection to her dead mother, and power in the natural world. In 2019 Kate escapes her abusive husband to a cottage left to her by a distant great aunt where she discovers…well, I can’t tell you that, can I? Three women across hundreds of years whose struggles and resilience strike cords far too familiar with each other and the reader. The natural world, however, waits patiently to be called forth, to provide protection, sustenance, and, when necessary, revenge.
Enchantment reigns in this beautiful story of the magic of love. A celebration of sisterhood, the wisdom of women, the magic of flowers all woven through a romance with characters complex and lovely. Not only is Harlow Estrada the only one of all the women in her family who was not named for a flower, but she is also without magic. Losing her job and boyfriend all in one day sends her from New York back to her family home in Mexico, Hacienda Estrada where she hopes to heal and begin writing the novel she has always yearned to write. A chance meeting with a man Harlow cannot stop thinking about and time alone at the Hacienda with their flowers and magic leads Harlow down a path where the sources of enchantment aren’t always so clear and Harlow’s own powers blossom unexpectedly. If you love Arsenic and Adobo, you’ll love this!
In between those books that make you feel better about humankind, you need to read books like this because though it does not paint those in power with undeserved kindness, it does weave threads of courage, kindness and community into the tragic story of a child on the brink of adulthood. Kiara and her brother Marcus are barely able to stay in their East Oakland apartment managing on what little has been left to them by adults embalmed by poverty and injustice. As little as she has, Kiara makes sure that Trevor, the little boy who lives in the apartment down the hall, gets some to eat and makes it to school most of the time. Kiara stumbles into a way to pay the bills, but this is a dangerous, soul-sucking life and only Kia’s desire to keep Trevor safe and a roof over their heads holds her up. Members of the police department discover Kia’s activities and her life becomes a nightmare of threats, sexual captivity, continued money worries. Mottley captures the despair and systemic injustice that plagues our country, all through the eyes of a young woman who deserves so much better from us.