Faye A. Chadwell

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All This Could Be Different

Using humor and beautiful prose, Mathews successfully tackles timely and serious subjects. Despite all the hardships they face, Sneha and the other well-rounded characters are able to build their futures because enduring friendships enable them to persist and even thrive. Ultimately, the novel’s title is its prophetic and vitally hopeful message. Highly recommended.

The Girls in Queens

Despite its issues, this novel will resonate for those who’ve read books like Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn and is recommended for Torres’s attention to the complex intersectional issues surrounding allegations of sexual violence within communities of color and the promise of solidarity among women.

The Rabbit Hutch

A woefully beautiful tale of a community striving for rebirth and redemption; highly recommended.


Stringfellow has crafted a rich tapestry of women’s familial relationships. Occasionally, she may restrain her characters emotionally, which flattens their dimensionality, but overall this is a well-written debut by an author worth watching in years to come. Recommended for anyone who appreciates Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, or Gloria Naylor.

When We Were Birds

Banwo has penned a compelling and imaginative supernatural love story, offering vivid descriptions of local life and scenery that are matched by her application of the natural language rhythms. Though the novel’s narrative pace is initially slow, Banwo wraps up with a redemptive and hopeful flourish that readers will appreciate.

Martita, I Remember You / Martita, te recuerdo

This bilingual edition sparkles with life even as it exudes the poignancy and bittersweet reminiscences of the dreams that eventually eluded Corina. Recommended for most fiction collections.

God Spare the Girls

McKinney’s coming-of-age story could have easily been wrapped up with a sweet bow. But her plot never falters as it stays true to the messiness of love in a family struggling with secrets, and to two young women wrestling with opposing viewpoints about womanhood. Abigail and Caroline are complex, rational, three-dimensional characters willing to question everything, even their trust in each other. Many readers will enjoy.

Bride of the Sea

Quotah’s family saga effectively captures the struggles of immigrants straddling two cultures, while reiterating beautifully the imperfections of all families characterized by loss, betrayal, and secrets. Only some slow pacing in the narrative’s middle, and less development of Saeedah’s perspective, compared to that of Muneer and Hanadi, mar an otherwise welcome exploration of Saudi Arabian–American history, culture, and traditions.

What’s Mine and Yours

Deploying multiple voices does diminish the depth of character development, but Coster’s cast of characters is unique, creating a tapestry that allows the various individuals to explore a past they may try to escape but can’t leave behind completely. Despite its sprawling time line and multiple perspectives, the novel remains an intimate portrait of families shaped by love, motherhood, race, and class.

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