Review: Maame by Jessica George

Title: Maame

Author: Jessica George

Pages: 320

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Format: e-arc- via Netgalley

Goodreads Blurb

Maame (ma-meh) has many meanings in Twi but in my case, it means woman.

It’s fair to say that Maddie’s life in London is far from rewarding. With a mother who spends most of her time in Ghana (yet still somehow manages to be overbearing), Maddie is the primary caretaker for her father, who suffers from advanced stage Parkinson’s. At work, her boss is a nightmare and Maddie is tired of always being the only Black person in every meeting.

When her mum returns from her latest trip to Ghana, Maddie leaps at the chance to get out of the family home and finally start living. A self-acknowledged late bloomer, she’s ready to experience some important “firsts”: She finds a flat share, says yes to after-work drinks, pushes for more recognition in her career, and throws herself into the bewildering world of internet dating. But it’s not long before tragedy strikes, forcing Maddie to face the true nature of her unconventional family, and the perils––and rewards––of putting her heart on the line.

Smart, funny, and deeply affecting, Maame deals with the themes of our time with humor and poignancy: from familial duty and racism, to female pleasure, the complexity of love, and the life-saving power of friendship. Most important, it explores what it feels like to be torn between two homes and cultures―and it celebrates finally being able to find where you belong.”

My Review

This was a book that really made me feel all the motions. There are times that it made me laugh, cry, be angry, happy, embarrassed, and uplifted at the end. There are a lot of great messages throughout as well.

Maddie is in her twenties and has focused her life on her dad, who has Parkinson’s. Her mother, whom I dislike, leaves for a year at a time. She leaves Maddie in charge of everything, the bills, her dad’s care, and running the household. Maddie is telling her that she can’t anymore. She’s hit a wall. She’s tired of doing it all and paying for everything on her own. When Maddie’s mom comes back she’s moving out on her own, for the first time.

This is where we go on a coming-of-age journey with Maddie. She’s new to it all and navigating her way and there are a lot of setbacks. She has to go through these growing pains but it makes the story all that real. In real life, there are a lot of things that don’t work out. I was surprised by how many un-likable characters there are in this one. I guess that’s also like real life. Don’t worry, there are many amazing characters that you will love. There are times that the story slowed down and all the google searches and answers threw me off. I know that we all go to google for things but it was a little much.

There are a lot of heartbreaking moments but it makes the end really uplifting. To see where she starts and how she ends up is really inspiring. I loved the fact that there’s some therapy in this book. It really is important to take care of your mental health! Finding your voice can be hard and we need all the help we can get!

Overall, I think this was a really strong debut! There’s a lot of emotion and it has a powerful message. Maddie’s journey isn’t easy but I think it makes it relevant. I’m sure there are a lot of readers that will relate to her story.

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press & Netgalley for an e-arc to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

20 thoughts on “Review: Maame by Jessica George

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