My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Maame by Jessica George is even more poignant and impactful than I imagined it would be. It’s heartbreaking, heartwarming, and relatable. This is I won’t soon forget.

This book is part of My Spring 2023 Reading List.

My Overview

Twenty-five year old Maddie had an unconventional upbringing in London. With her mother spending most of her time in Ghana, and her brother leaving the family as soon as he could, that left only Maddie and her father. He was from being a nurturing caretaker, so Maddie learned to care for herself at an early age.

Maddie has always been responsible and has never let anyone down. When she sees an opportunity to finally live her own grown-up life, though, she takes it. She makes a list of “firsts” she’d like to experience, and so begins the coming of age journey for this late bloomer who eagerly wants to be herself, while not disappointing anyone. When some unexpected events occur, they become the catalysts for significant changes she hadn’t anticipated. As she’s pushed to face new circumstances, she’s forced to question who she wants to be: Maddie or Maame?

Maddie is intelligent, resilient, funny, and loyal. In a conversational manner, she shares the journey about her life in the past and present. Through her struggles and experiences, various societal themes are explored, which I think makes the story relatable to many. Regardless of the reader’s background, it’s easy to connect with Maddie and the complexity of self-identity amid familial and societal expectations.

This is a multilayered story about love, friendship, family, and trust. Maddie’s experiences are heartbreaking at times, but the story never felt too heavy. As Maddie’s journey continues, there’s humor and kindness interspersed throughout. Overall, this is impactful and uplifting story that will stay with me for a long time.

My Recommendation

I enjoyed learning about Maddie’s journey, and highly recommend this book. It’s the author’s debut novel, and now I’m looking forward to what she’ll write next. Her writing style, character development, and poignant storyline are what I’m looking forward to in her future novels.

If you can, listen to the audiobook. The narrator truly made the characters come to life.

Have you read this book yet?