St. Martin’s. Jan. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781250282521. $27.99. F
DEBUT A captivating coming-of-age novel about a Ghanaian British woman who tries to change her life and increase her happiness. Twenty-five-year-old Maddie Wright has always been Maame, the responsible one. Although she wants to quit her job where she’s the only Black person and has a micromanaging boss, she doesn’t. Her father has Parkinson’s, and she is his caretaker; her mother travels frequently and always needs money; and her older brother barely visits. When her mom returns to London, Maddie moves out of the family home. Soon she has new flatmates, a new job, and a love interest. Then tragedy strikes. The novel delicately handles how social problems generate mental health challenges. Maame’s anxiety gives way to panic attacks and depression as the weight of being Maame takes a toll; her inner thoughts bounce from vulnerability to anger to resentment for having to be the reliable one. Luckily, her friends are the best kind of support system.
VERDICT George’s protagonist is a relatable character whom readers will enjoy meeting. An excellent book club selection.
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