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The Deep The waterbreathing 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 ClippingYetu holds the memories for her people—waterdwelling 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 YetuYetu 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 agoYetu will learn 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 areInspired 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 **3.5stars rounded up**What the heck did I just read?This novella is so unique The feeling Gah! I can't even describe it When I first finished this book, I was blown away, but also didn't really understand what I had read Newsflash, I still don't.As far as content, I didn't really retain much; just the feeling It's too bad I didn't retainbecause it is such a different reading experience and I believe, from what I understand, the creation of this novella was quite unique as well.Whilst reading, I was overwhelmed with feelings that I was being told some wise and ancient lore, unfortunately I think the true meaning of it sailed well over my head With this being said, the audiobook is still a beautiful experience.I do appreciate the creation of this story and I would even read it again someday, it's just a hard one to grasp Absolutely moving though, even if you don't fully understand why it is slowly ripping your heart out of your chest.In short, I would need to read this again before I can providethoughts Something I would most definitely be willing to do Thank you so much to the publisher, Saga Press, for sending me a copy to read and review I truly appreciate the opportunity! Giveaway win!5 Stars isn't enough! Water dwelling creatures who are the descendants of African slave women How could I not read this book The Deep is filled with flowery poetic language that I normally hate Flowery language often comes off sounding pretentious and it usually leaves me rolling my eyes But that flowery type of language fits The Deep just perfectly The Deep is a modern day take on African folklore The same folklore that was brought to America on slave ships and passed down to each new generation The Deep is strangely beautiful and a strikingly impactful story of coming to terms with the savage and barbaric history of slavery and the ability to move past that and find inner peace A MUST MUST MUST READ! This novella explores the themes of generational trauma, memory, belonging, and history using the folktale of the babies of African slaves thrown overboard turning into mermaids This small book packs a big thematic punch. Whelp I can't stop thinking about tierlistsso here's another video ranking all my January Books Now that you know where this one stands, check out the video to see the rest!The Written Review: “What is belonging?” we ask She says, “Where loneliness ends.” Yetu is the only one out of her mermaid tribe that knows their history.Decades ago, pregnant African slave women were thrown into the ocean and their children are what formed Yetu's people The deep will be our sibling, our parent, our relief from endless solitude Down here, we are wrapped up Down here, we can pretend the dark is the black embrace of another The tragedy, so real and raw, even years later was deemed too much for those people to handle and thus all of the memories were bound up into one individual who will hold onto them until their untimely and early death.And despite knowing how important Yetu is to her people, she decides that she can no longer endure She will find a way out from under the murk one way or another When not properly fortified, a legacy is noenduring than a wisp of plankton Ahhh I'm not sure what to think I'm still on the ever elusive hunt for a wonderful and compelling mermaid book On the one hand, the concept caught me right away but on the other hand, I often found myself puzzled, lost or confused.Much of the book had a spokenhistory vibe to it where we get fragments of stories, wisps of legends and a scattered narration throughout.And while I liked that at the beginning, by the middle/end I was just frustrated with the lack of clarity.There were so many incredible concepts introduced, interesting sidestories and and they were only told in snippetsleaving me feeling like the story was unfinished and I was left in the dark.Also, and this may just be me, but I had some serious The Giver vibes with the whole collectivememoryinexchangeforafunctionalsociety thing It kind of worked and kind of didn't.All I know is that I'm still on the hunt for that truly excellent mermaid book. rtc 3 Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Blog | Spotify | TwitchBuddy read with Lea Lara! ❤ I have mixed feeling about The Deep by Rivers Solomon.First, I LOVED the premise of a merpeople originating from pregnant african slaves being thrown overboard it's what really drew me into reading to book.The story however not much happens and the pacing is very slow Now this is not necessarily a problem to me, but coupled with a very vague worldbuilding and a very blank slated main character, whose perspective the story is told from, I ended up spending 6 days reading this 176 page novel.I liked the historical part of the story, reading about the merpeople's origin, how they found a language and how their culture and society came to be And I was very pleasently surprised to discover that this is a very LGBT friendly book (lesbian human/mermaid ship hell yeah) The writing was also really great.If you want a different take on mermaids, then you should definitely give The Deep a chance. Wow, this book is amazing As a fan of Clipping and their Hugonominated song that this book is based on, I was already excited for this oneplus it's written by Rivers Solomon, author of An Unkindness of Ghosts But wow, this book is intense I won't give away any spoilers except to say that Yetu, the hero, is a unique character who is forced to make some tough choices to find herself, and ends up making a really beautiful and unexpected friendship as a result I'm going to be thinking and dreaming about The Deep for a very long time Yetu's journey kept surprising and inspiring me, even as it plunged into deeper and deeper waters that raise questions about identity and the weight of history This is the strange, beautiful, transforming story that we all need in 2019 [Full disclosure: I received an early copy of this book for review purposes, and also Clipping vocalist Daveed Diggs kindly gave a quote for my novel The City in the Middle of the Night]. I'll read any book that Rivers Solomon puts out because their ideas are always unique, creative, and poignant While An Unkindness of Ghosts follows atraditional narrative, The Deep readsas an atmospheric and conceptual piece, which makes it harder for me to rate since I prefer the former Considering Solomon's intentions with writing this novella, and how much I appreciate the allegory for intergenerational trauma in a mermaid fairytale, I'll round it up to 4 stars I wish the story wasfleshed out into a fulllength novel with a plot, but I understand that was not their goal (Still such smart ideas should be expanded!) Make sure that you listen to the song The Deep by clipping as well as the group Drexciya How does a book under 200 pages stump me in terms of writing a review I'm sitting here, at this moment, in my chair attempting to figure out how to summarize/express my feelings about this book I think that it's probably going to takethan just a written review, but I'm going to try I liked to preface my thoughts by saying that if you only read this book as a fantastical mermaid tale and don't dig deep into the core of its purpose, this book will make no sense to you It will feel nonsensical It will feel as though you're sifting your way through pages of nonsensical ramblings set against the back drop of a mermaid tale It's so muchSo if you didn't get it the first time around I implore you to read it onceDig deep and try to see the connections The Deep explores so many themes that personally made me feel like this book was written for me I'm sure everyone is familiar with the premise: pregnant women who were captured and made into slaves were thrown overboard during the transatlantic journey to the Americas and the Caribbean These women then gave birth to children who turned into mermaids known as the Wajinru in this book While the mermaid aspect of this book may be fantastical, the historical reference point of the massacring of slaves prior to reaching their final destination is true This book specifically focuses on Yetu who is classified as the Historian She carries the history of the twolegs and the Wajinru who came before her The process is taxing and overbearing and Yetu wants nothingthan to quit My first thought in reading this was related to the constant generational trauma that is inflicted on Black people Our history is tricky It's one that we aren't supposed to forget, yet it's one that is so traumatic that quite often we beg to forget, to be something other than this long history of pain and violence I understood the need, the desire for Yetu to forget Solomon takes this concept and RUNS with it From that point forward we are exposed to a discussion related to the rebuilding of identity (Black people have had to build their culture from scratch because it was torn from us through the Transatlantic Slave Trade), gender identity (there are nonbinary and lesbian characters), mental health (Yetu struggles with the trauma of the history which is closely related to the mental health of the Black community), the juxtaposition of how all Black people don't handle trauma the same, the importance of Oral traditions, collectivism vs individuality (there were sections that reminded me of Rastafarianism and why the term of I and I is so important), and even ecological destruction After reading this book I literally sat down and just thought How can such a small book address everything that I feel as one person? How can I feel so seen and so heard in a FANTASY book? I lost my greatgrandmother almost two years ago now She was the matriarch of my family My great grandmother also couldn't read or write Everything I know about my family, everything that I know about who I am and where I come from is through oral tradition Like so many Black families, our history is documented or contained within history books We've had to collectively carry our history and pass it down from generation to generation Each one of us carrying the burden and passing it off to our offspring But there is joy and beauty in the burden I'm often reminded of J Coles lyrics there's beauty in the struggle A lot of what we carry is pain, but a lot of what we carry is beauty and joy We just have to remember to carry it together I, like Yetu, know that we can't forget our history and where we come from because it's what ingrained in who we are right now, in this moment You take away our history whether good, bad, or both and then who do we become? Who are we? I could literally cry writing this review This hands down is the best book I have read in a very long time and I won't stop screaming about how important it is to me and so many others I hope that this review even makes sense The emotional impact that it's had on me, the spiritual impact it's had on me is one that is very difficult to translate into words.

About the Author: Rivers Solomon

Rivers Solomon writes about life in the margins, where they are much at home They currently live and write in Cambridge, UK, but they originally hail from the US, where they received their MFA from he Michener Center for Writers and their BA from Stanford University.

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