Title: The Deep
Author: Rivers Solomon
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Genre(s): Adult, Fantasy, Mermaids, LGBT
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The water-breathing descendants of African slave women tossed overboard have built their own underwater society—and must reclaim the memories of their past to shape their future in this brilliantly imaginative novella inspired by the Hugo Award nominated song “The Deep” from Daveed Diggs’ rap group Clipping.
Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.
Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.
Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.
Inspired by a song produced by the rap group Clipping for the This American Life episode “We Are In The Future,” The Deep is vividly original and uniquely affecting
I’ve seen a lot of hype for this book and was intrigued to check it out. I thought the premise for this one sounded so interesting and was excited to finally dive into Solomon’s work after hearing so much praise for their writing.
I enjoyed the way this book makes you think about the importance of history. The underlying conversation as to who gets to bear the burden of history was intriguing to read about. Along with the discussion between one character with all the history and another with no history. This discussion helps Yetu understand the truth behind her culture’s history and seeks to find a way to keep history alive without burdening one person to be the keeper.
Overall, I definitely liked the idea over the execution. Something about the writing style just didn’t click with me, and while I enjoyed listening to the story, I wasn’t connected to the characters at all. I can see why so many people enjoy this book and I’m excited to read more of Solomon’s work in the future.
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