PositiveThe Washington PostAs it’s a speech, nothing is explored with much depth — memorable moments from her adulthood take up fleeting space on the page ... her story isn’t just about surviving success, it’s about surviving.
PositiveThe Washington Post... a novel that confounds the normal parameters of storytelling. What starts out as a relatively straightforward tale about a Black author’s cross-country tour for his novel, also called Hell of a Book, soon meanders into a broader meditation on imaginary friends, mental illness, alcoholism and deep, deep grief. As soon as you think you know where the story is going, the lines between reality and imagination blur, thanks to an unnamed narrator who is unreliable and not entirely likable ... There is a sense of calm in Soot’s story that is in direct and jarring contrast with our narrator’s tell-all. The author’s language is abrasive and assertive, sometimes directly addressing the reader ... the beauty of the novel is in the cracks that distort the plot.
Ashley C. Ford
RaveThe Boston GlobeSomebody’s Daughter left me struggling to breathe — I found that holding my breath held back the tears that kept coming and coming and coming. In reading Ashley C. Ford’s first memoir, one feels an overwhelming desire to hold her and hold her tight. To cradle her and love her the way she wanted to be loved, to remind her how to breathe when she starts gasping for air ... Ford’s memoir does not shy away from pain or confusion; instead it holds an echo of memories, guiding readers head first through her life lessons. The memoir acts as a mosaic of moments and images that altered Ford’s ever-changing perception ... Ford’s story is anything but boring — but the plot tension isn’t what had me glued to the page. It was her words, the way she described her thoughts and thought process, the desperation to her tone and her endless desire to be loved and good ... And while you want nothing more than to hold her, take her away from that pain and into warm, always loving arms, you find yourself rooting for the small victories and the ways she’s been able to survive. Time and time again.
RaveThe Boston GlobeGreenidge is a master of character building ... Libertie is set in the midst of the Civil War, but the place and time these characters are in doesn’t make them unfamiliar ... Libertie is an easy page turner—its simple prose makes the plot digestible and the lyrical sentences sing louder ... Because the book is written in the first person, readers are allowed to get intimate with Libertie’s thoughts. She keeps so much of the way she thinks hidden from other characters (for a myriad of reasons), that it’s an intimate joy to get a glimpse into her logical, sympathetic mind ... a beautiful telling of gorgeously tragic characters who keep you rooting for them, even as they continue to stray and stray and stray.