“-we must work hard and be good even in freedom. That’s what you telling me. With rules like that, don’t it make you wonder what freedom’s for?”
Wow, what a heavy story about freedom, identity and the weight of love. Libertie made me so frustrated at every turn. And so did her mother. And her husband. And well, frankly everyone in this novel. So many expectations, social pressures and moments of pride defined the lives of the poor souls in this novel.
Libertie is trying to make her own way in the world and trying to step out of her mother’s shadow, shirk her mother’s expectations and the boundaries society places on her because of her color. She is born into the Northern states after the war and her view on the world is certainly through a different lens than her mother. Her mother has made an exceptional place in the world for herself, she is a doctor in a world where she knows at any moment she could lose everything she has built for herself because of her skin color. She has also built a dream for her daughter’s life by her side, a life she feels recognizing what her daughter is worth.
Libertie, on the other hand, has other ideas. Her choices are impetuous. The first taste of true freedom she gets from the weight of her mother’s gaze, she immediately thrusts herself under the weight of another’s expectations. Trapped once again, Libertie begins to see the truth of her mother’s intentions for her and begins to learn the meaning of freedom is much deeper than she could have ever imagined.
The writing is painfully beautiful and emotionally wrought. The characters are complex and show interesting development over the duration of the story. I really loved the ending but definitely want more time to see what happened to these characters. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thank you to Algonquin Books for a copy of this novel. All opinions above are my own.
What’s something you appreciated about your parents after you became an adult?