My book club has been doing a month long theme of ‘tears’ made up of four installments of a book per week, and with about two weeks to go to the end of this theme, i’ve already found my favourite book of 2020 thus far and I just can’t stop talking about it.
Men we Reaped by Jesmyn Ward sounds like such a grown up book, It’s the kind of book I’d only pick up if I had known the author prior or I had a larger incentive to read it (that’s actually what happened), nothing on the cover stands out for me as an eye grabber all the way from the title to the cover design, but the inside proved to be a tasty treat. The story covers the story of five boys who lose their lives under circumstances that could be said to be society driven.
The number one reason I loved it was the themes that it covered: racial discrimination, drug abuse, grief, domestic abuse, fornication, animal cruelty among many others though not necessarily negative. Some part of me has always wanted to dig deeper into the reality of racial discrimination in the US and what that means for the general livelihood of the black community in practical examples and this memoir by Jesmyn provides incredible insight that’s broken down into how these men grew up in their community, how that shaped them, and how they ended up where they are.
Jesmyn’s prose is amazing by all means, it is vivid and I think she was the best person to write this story. It’s truly an interesting read not just because of the heavy themes it carries but also the literary prowess exhibited.
In the book, Jesmyn goes through challenges of her own with regard to grief, and that leads me to recommend this book to anyone who thinks they have not gotten over the loss of someone dear.
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