An Unkindness of Ghosts

An Unkindness of Ghosts - Rivers Solomon

This is a really good book. And I did not like it at all. Those things are not mutually exclusive.


This book is a slave narrative filled with all the horror that entails. It is also, primarily, a character study. Solomon does, I think, a good job at drawing a complex and rich portrait of a queer black woman who sits somewhere upon the autism scale, and who has a history of abuse and trauma. This is no small feat, and Solomon's writing is up to the task.


The problem, for me, was that this was not a character I wanted to spend time with, nor was it a world I wanted to inhabit. Picking the book was a struggle every time. Were I reading this book from an academic perspective it would have a lot of merit and plenty to chew on. Reading it for pleasure, however, was absolutely draining.


This is going to be a taste thing. For me it's also a timing thing. It's not to say that I need a constant stream of optimistic stories dripping in rainbow glitter, but I do need some relief when it comes to my reading right now. Because I am Tired. So yes, this is a good book. And if reading a book about the evils of slavery and what it does to people sounds like something you're up for I recommend it. For me it was too much heartbreak and not enough payoff.