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Grown Women: A Novel by Sarai Johnson (Hardcover) (PREORDER)

Grown Women: A Novel by Sarai Johnson (Hardcover) (PREORDER)

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Fiction - Literary - Family Life - African American and Black 


In this stunning debut novel, four generations of complex Black women contend with motherhood and daughterhood, generational trauma and the deeply ingrained tensions and wounds that divide them as they redefine happiness and healing for themselves.

Erudite Evelyn, her cynical daughter Charlotte, and Charlotte’s optimistic daughter Corinna see the world very differently. Though they love each other deeply, it’s no wonder that their personalities often clash. But their conflicts go deeper than run-of-the-mill disagreements. Here, there is deep, dark resentment for past and present hurt.  

When Corinna gives birth to her own daughter, Camille, the beautiful, intelligent little girl offers this trio of mothers something they all need: hope, joy, and an opportunity to reconcile. They decide to work together to raise their collective daughter with the tenderness and empathy they missed in their own relationships. Yet despite their best intentions, they cannot agree on what that means.

After Camille eventually leaves her mother and grandmother in rural Tennessee for a more cosmopolitan life in Washington, DC with her great-grandmother, it’s unclear whether this complex and self-contained girl will thrive or be overwhelmed by the fears and dreams of three generations she carries. As she grows into a gutsy young woman, Camille must decide for herself what happiness will look like.

 In masterful, elegant prose, debut novelist Sarai Johnson has created a rich and moving portrait of Black women’s lives today.


SARAI JOHNSON grew up in the South, primarily in Nashville, Tennessee. She studied journalism and English at Howard University, and later earned a Master's in Literature from American University. She has taught writing at both her alma maters and with several nonprofit writing programs in the DC area. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband, daughter, and dog.

"A whirlwind of a story that serves as an invitation to consider all that makes a family, all that breaks a family. Four generations, four remarkable women, four stunning stories of heartbreak, commitment, and courage. You will want to root for them all, but more importantly you will root for forgiveness, root for love." -- Lauren Francis-Sharma, author of 'Til the Well Runs Dry and Book of the Little Axe

"A beautifully drawn family portrait, GROWN WOMEN examines our most deeply held beliefs about love, responsibility, security, and independence. On every page, I was struck by the sharpness of Johnson's prose and the specificity and complexity with which she honors her characters. Johnson is a generous, confident storyteller whose debut you don't want to miss." -- Emily Adrian, author of The Second Season

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