A hugely deserving winner of the Booker Prize in 2019. I was just sad that it has taken me so long to read this wonderful book. We follow the lives of twelve very different people in Britain, predominantly female and black. Aged 19 to 93, they span a variety of cultural backgrounds, sexualities, classes and occupations as they tell the stories of themselves, their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years.
The book begins and end with Amma and Dominque. These are two wonderful characters, as are all the characters in the book. The writing is super, engaging, thoughtful and makes statements in a subtle way. The writing is so brilliant that it only takes two pages for Shirley to tell the 30 year saga of what happened to education in Britain.
What I loved about the book was how Evaristo told the stories of the various lives with empathy but without pity. These are stories of everyday ordinary people who are in situations because of circumstances, often not of their own making. It feels as if the author picked out people in everyday life to imagine the stories behind them.
A must read.