Before "The Vanishing Half," author Brit Bennett brought us "The Mothers."

In it, Nadia Turner is a star student, with her sights set on leaving her tight-knit, church-loving community in Southern California. Then, her mother dies by suicide.

Disgusted by her father's outward displays of grief, Nadia channels her pain into a rising infatuation for her high-school crush, Luke Sheppard. After a career-ending injury, Luke's limp and the loss of his own achievements further draw her in.

Soon, Nadia's only solace is in gentle, God-fearing Aubrey, a transfer student who is the salve to Nadia's searing emotional wounds. "The Mothers" follows these characters from one fateful summer before their lives twist and shift inward, as it exhibits the nurturing care of mothering and the hard consequence of its loss.

Often told through the perspective of the church mothers, this book is delicately devastating in its characterization of flaw, in families, congregations, in humans. You may not feel good afterward, but it is undoubtedly a poetic and moving ride.

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Title: “The Mothers”

Author: Brit Bennett

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

Pages: 288