Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward is one book I can already see in my 2019 favourites! It’s a memoir about loss, grief and how it may heal but never end.
She shares snippets of her story; chronologically about her years growing up years, her family dynamic in De Lisle, Mississippi, alternating with the stories of 5 young black men who she lost within the span of 4 years, in reverse order. To say the book was difficult to read is an understatement because I cannot even imagine how much courage it took for her to pen it down, to bring her emotions out for the world to see.
She lost 5 young men, including her brother, to drugs, suicide and accidents.. all unrelated deaths but they come back to the roots of poverty and racism, that made them vulnerable. The difficulties in the lives of both black men and women might be different but the loss they feel and how their lives are altered is inevitable.
Ward’s prose has a natural grittiness and the way she talks about grief and doesn’t hold back, just breaks my heart. Personal, honest and powerful. This is a book that everyone must read!