Maame by Jessica George is an endearing, emotional story about family, finding one’s self, and coming to terms with life and all that it has to offer.
The books I’ve received from Netgalley have been disappointing lately, so I wasn’t expecting much from this. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel!
Maame tells us the story of Maddie, who has spent a lifetime convincing herself that the restrictions and isolation in her life are all due to voluntary choices and personal preferences. When her mother returns from Ghana, Maddie is asked to move out. She realizes this means she can finally start living her own life and resolves to be a different person. She will drink alcohol, date, and not say no if offered a cigarette (without becoming addicted).
Growing up, Maddie was told not to speak of family issues. To Maddie, this meant not sharing anything with her friends, as wasn’t everything ultimately a family issue? This also meant Maddie didn’t have many friends or people to talk to. This impacts her ability to interact with her roommates and co-workers, and she soon learns that she needs the support of others.
Living on her own terms, Maddie soon learns that freedom is a double-edged sword and not everything she thought she knew about herself is true.
This novel touches on many topics, ranging from familial love and duty, sexual abuse, elderly care, death, and the comforts of friendship.
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance copy in exchange for sharing my opinions. All opinions in this review are my own.