Unique and quirky, this book follows twelve characters, painted so vividly each different viewpoint may as well be written by a different author entirely. Bernadine Evaristo gives us essential insight into the ordinary and extraordinary lives of each character as they navigate through a world still devastatingly full of prejudice and narrow minds. Despite it running through the very core of this novel, this book is not just about racism. We learn about everything from misogyny and rape culture to Islamophobia and domestic abuse, in a surprisingly engaging and accessible way. The trials and tribulations of each person felt like my own and I ached passionately for each character in turn. Lesbianism was also a major theme in this book but at the same time, it wasn’t. I loved the way it was just normalised so artfully by Evaristo; in a way that is paramount to the 21st century. It doesn’t have to be a big thing as it so often is in the media.
Honestly, I decided to pick up this book because I thought I should, not because I thought it would be something I could really get into. But after the first chapter I was rapidly turning pages because I was really into it, not because I thought I should! It was witty and feisty and uplifting and powerful, and when I had finished being plunged through the highs and lows of Girl, Woman, Other, I realised it was a book that will stay with me for life. It truly has changed the way I see other people.
You don’t have to be female, black, trans, or lesbian to read this. In fact, the less you can relate to this book, the more vital it is you pick it up. Just read it.