While still in my 20’s, I typed “Contemporary Women Books about Depression” into the search engine (I was going to say “Googling” but at that time I’m pretty sure I was still loyal to Yahoo!). I didn’t want to read a book completely about Depression; but I wanted to be able to relate to the women in the books (mainly white women) and mental health was something that deeply affected my daily life.
(Trigger warning: alcoholism, cutting, sexual assault)
Finally! A book about two Black People dealing with mental health, addiction, trying to fit into the world, breaking generational curses/trauma, finding love, and doing the best they can. While these may not be the most pleasant topics they are very real; especially in the black community. I remember in HS feeling like my mental health issues were “white people shit” because they were the ones being shown on TV and in books dealing with them. I don’t want to give too much away but there is a particular part in the book when it’s a flashback to the main characters, Eva and Shane, as teens that makes me tear up because in a very vulnerable moment there was no judgement; only complete understanding and support. The book also deals with Eva having an invisible disability (debilitating migraines) and having to still manage her daily life, including being an amazing mother to her daughter, Audre.
I am such a huge fan of the author. I have been following her for quite some time and while she has written other books (The Perfect Find is being filmed for Netflix. Gabrielle Union is starring. The book is on my list).
(Trigger warning: Suicide)
I heard a lot of mixed reviews about this book but, I really, REALLY loved this one. Again, it may seem weird but, I wish there was a book like this around when I was younger. Who amongst us haven’t thought about what would have happened if we chose a different path in life? In the Midnight Library, Nora is given this opportunity. Some lives bring fame and money and others bring a quieter, simpler life. Some lives are her choices and regrets and some are the choices and regrets of her dad or brother. It’s been a couple of weeks and I’m still thinking about it. Depending on where you are in your life, this book may hit differently.