RaveNPR... an inspiring novel that truly demonstrates the power women wield, regardless of the era. It has sisterhood, love, war, sex — and many graphic deaths, all entangled in a once-forgotten abbey in the English countryside ... With masterful wordplay and pacing, Groff builds what could have been a mundane storyline into something quite impossible to put down. The writing itself is a demonstration of power. Eschewing direct dialogue and traditional chapters for a three-part structure, the story starts slow but then picks up the pace, barreling through Marie\'s years at the convent ... The novel\'s prose is well constructed and filled with strong imagery that will remain embedded in your subconscious days later ... Her use of short but not entirely quick sentences, particularly at the start of the novel, is a tricky way of pacing a story that is written in such a formal tone ... Her allusions to female pleasure — such as masturbation and oral sex — are done as stealthily as her allusions to heinous actions such as rape, almost like a whisper that you might miss if you\'re not paying attention. But there are instances where allusions are not enough, and she is graphic, leaving little to the imagination when discussing death and sickness ... exposes the complexity of being a woman living in a world where men make all the rules, regardless of the era. But it also may leave you wondering whether this is a story about one woman\'s feminist aspirations — or her overzealous ambition.
PositiveThe Washington Post... disturbing, haunting ... Fresh off the success of their third novel, The Death of Vivek Oji, Emezi delivers a sharp, raw, propulsive and always honest account of the trials they endure as a person \'categorized as other\' ... Emezi thrives. By talking and writing, they convey how it feels to have a \'spirit at odds with flesh\' ... not for the fainthearted. Many of the personal anecdotes can be gruesome and disturbing — thoughts of skinning and cannibalistic desire, stories of dead bodies and maggot-infested dogs — but they are written in an enthralling visceral stream of consciousness. At times, there is a pretentiousness to Emezi’s writing, when they do find the voice to talk about their greatness. But arrogance suits them ... Though the book can be difficult to read, Emezi carefully captures the struggle of what it means to be a person — or an entity — in a world that is not designed to accommodate their existence ... A powerful memoir such as this benefits greatly from this epistolary structure. Such intimacy deserves a proper release. Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir is written for those searching for kindred spirits in a world that makes them hard to find.
RaveThe Rumpus... bold, brave, and beautifully written ... a story about defiance and survival, eschewing much of the typical tropes one would expect in a novel about immigrants ... The author exposes the way a woman’s identity is wrapped up tightly in traditional notions of womanhood, something that many Caribbean people still strongly hold on to ... As the novel progresses, it is impossible not to relate to Patsy’s plight ... Dennis-Benn bravely tackles the narrative around what it means to be an immigrant, pulling apart a reference that has been an increasingly prevalent topic of conversation in the United States in the past three years ... Not only does Dennis-Benn address topics often swept under the rug, but she brings compassion to a complicated woman who does her best to forge a fulfilling life for herself ... Patsy’s character is a flawed woman, well-presented on the pages of this novel. Dennis-Benn pens a beautiful narrative that encapsulates the converging joy and pain of many Caribbean immigrants in search of a better life. Her work sheds light on the realities of chasing the elusive American dream that many Caribbean people still hold today. Patsy will be part of the literary canon that opens the window to a multifaceted Caribbean life.