cover image The Mothers

The Mothers

Brit Bennett, read by Adenrele Ojo. Penguin Audio, , unabridged, 8 CDs, 10 hrs., $40 ISBN 978-0-7352-8825-6

In a black Southern California community, 17-year-old Nadia deals with the grief of her mother’s suicide by throwing herself into a relationship with Luke, the pastor’s son. The resulting pregnancy and abortion are hastily covered up, and Nadia and Luke go their separate ways. Yet years later, the secret causes ripples that deeply affect their adult lives. Meanwhile, the elderly women of the church—“the mothers,” as they are called—act as a kind of Greek chorus, having their say in alternating chapters, gossip mixed with wisdom. Reader Ojo creates believable voices for all the characters—the church women and Nadia, Luke, and Nadia’s friend Aubrey both as teens and as adults. She ably brings out all the characters’ conflicting emotions and their complicated relationships. A Riverhead hardcover. (Oct.)