We've all been there as parents! 😂
As she's losing her mom.
Tookey finally move you guys, so now I can eat dinner and start another book. What do you guys think, does it look like the picture on the box or did I get bamboozled? 😆 🤦🏽♀️
I listened to this on audio, and unfortunately, I think that may have reduced my enjoyment. I have seen from other reviews that the book is structured in short vignettes, but the break between these vignettes was lost in the audiobook, which often left me confused and made the whole book feel piecemeal. While I found many parts interesting, I was expecting more depth in the exploration of Thandi‘s grief and relationships. I was underwhelmed.
Don‘t let this pretty cover fool you!!! This is NOT a happy, cheerful read. Told in vignettes ( without chapter headings or numbers) this is more of a stream of consciousness musings of a young woman coming to terms with grief, identity, loss and motherhood. Some beautiful sentiments but overall I felt detached from the story. I think the author‘s intentional use of short passages and jarring pacing left me feeling too disconnected.
I think @Reviewsbylola mentioned this technique of books without chapters. It‘s driving me crazy!!! While I‘m enjoying the story and the writing, I‘m hung up on pacing and lack of chapter indicators. At least Kindle is telling me I‘m at 31%😅
Overall this didn't work on all levels. The characters, the plot, the writing, all didn't work. Instead, of feeling like a complete novel, What We Lose ends up feeling like an outline of a grander more moving tale. The backbones for a mother-daughter story were there but it was never expanded on enough to fulfill the promises described in the blurb. While What We Lose is a quick read thanks to it vignette style, it was not satisfying.
Late posting this but my #bookhaul from the day before my wedding 😬 What can I say, there was a bookstore near the hotel.
I‘m digging both these covers and the bookstore had them for 50% off!
This reads like a mashup of The Mothers and Swing Time, which is a good thing. Despite Clemmons‘s ‘exotic‘ heritage this hit very close to home for me, as the MC reminds me very much of my own dear wife. To have experienced such a significant loss so early on in life — it casts such a long large shadow over everything after. Bittersweet (the emotion, not the book), but with an upward ending. An interesting companion to Fierce Kingdom.
This book is small but so full and substantial, telling a much deeper and larger story than it‘s size might imply. Her writing about grief and coping/not coping with it is beautiful and painful and would resonate with anyone because, of course, unexpected loss is part of the human condition. I loved that Thandi is far from perfect but in that way is perfectly relatable and recognizable. Heavy but good read. 4/5 ⭐️
OMG THANK YOU SHE ACTUALLY GETS IT RIGHT!!! I was recently diagnosed with panic disorder and agoraphobia, and it‘s fucking maddening when people think it means “being afraid to leave the house.” (AHEM A.J. Finn, based on what I‘ve heard about your uninformed book.) Not going out as much is a SYMPTOM of the disorder, not the entirety of it. Most of us do in fact leave the house often! But it‘s infused with the exact fear she notes here.
Zinzi Clemmons' WHAT WE LOSE is a searing novel of loss and family, told in a series of vignettes that make it perfect for your #24in48 stack consideration. Heavy in subject, short on length and with varying style across chapters. #readathon (pssst... Don't forget to sign up at 24in48.com!)
This was beautifully written. The way Clemmons weaves the story together with digressions on grief, race, culture, history, and relationships is fascinating, but it‘s also the reason the book didn‘t resonate for me. The short chapters & frequent shifts in direction made the narrative feel disjointed, and while the structure echoes both the experience of grief and of being caught between cultures, it also made me feel disconnected from the text.
We were holding so much in, our pain distinct from one another‘s in so many ways. I suppose we thought that if we ever acknowledged this, all our carefully assembled control would fall to pieces. I was terrified of his pain—that of losing a lifelong partner, so many years tossed out the window. And I‘m sure he feared the destabilization of my loss—how much of my life yet to live would be marred by this trauma.
I do not see the mother with her child as either more morally credible or more morally capable than any other woman. A child can be used as a symbolic credential, a sentimental object, a badge of self-righteousness. I question the implicit belief that only “mothers” with “children of their own” have a real stake in the future of humanity.
“The pain was exponential. Because as much as I cried, she could not comfort me, and this fact only multiplied my pain. I realized that this would be life; to figure out how to live without her hand on my back; her soft, accented English telling me Everything will be all right, Thandi. This was the paradox: how would I ever heal from losing the person who healed me?”
Love and marriage are completely unrelated enterprises. Marriage bears as little resemblance to love as competing in the Olympics does to your afternoon jog. Sometimes I think with regret of how our love might have grown if we hadn‘t driven a pregnancy, then a marriage—like two speeding 18-wheelers—straight into it.
This slim novel of semi-autobiographical vignettes is a “read in one sitting” gem. It won‘t work for everyone but it shook me to my core.
Bonus points for calling Junot Diaz out on his bullshit.
🍷🍷🍷/5 A debut novel explores 'what we lose' when we lose a parent. Good not great. I would have preferred to have more content surrounding her mother's illness, their relationship & the movement through grief. Although there are glimpses of these items, I wanted more. The second half of the book was more substantive. Towards the end of the book Clemmons begans to explain her movement through grief with beautiful prose & then the book ends.
A story of grief and the struggle to search for wholeness after a loss. Clemons writes this story in short vignettes that sometimes seem to go together and at times makes no sense to their placement in the story- very similar to the way grief makes us feel. This story feels like Clemons worked through her own grief story as she wrote these words. 3.5 ⭐️. Will likely read again.
A story told in short vignettes, about Thandi dealing with her mother getting sick and dying and the impact it has on her life. (That's not a spoiler, btw, it's in the book description.) Thandi struggles with identity and loss in a very open-hearted, raw way.
#grief #fiction #SouthAfrica #momsanddaughters #loss
A novel about dealing with losing your mother to cancer, and grief, race and class. Author pretty much lived this, and it shows in the power of her writing. It‘s beautiful and heartbreaking. https://cannonballread.com/2018/02/why-we-cannonball/
I'm already reading several other books, so of course I started another one today. So far this is not what I was expecting.
I really wanted to like this more. Personally and professionally, grief stories are my thing. Maybe my expectations are higher than most because I have read so many of these. I could not relate or connect to her. She seemed to be struggling to express her feelings but stayed distant from them. This was her debut, though. I have high hopes for her. ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Life intervened, so I won‘t be reaching #24in48, but what a joy to spend an extra bookish weekend with so many of you! 🙂 I did finish this today, which seemed fitting because I‘d won it as a prize in the last readathon! I thought it was beautifully written and liked it a lot. 💛