I really, really enjoyed The Other Black Girl but I went into it without knowing really anything about it and was a little surprised by one big element. I’d definitely be interested in others opinions as they read the book.
And I don’t really want to say why I was surprised there was just a fairly major element to the book I wasn’t expecting (I could have missed it in marketing…) but I don’t want to spoil it.
Plus this book takes place in a publishing house so I really loved that!
Okay Nella has long since been the only black woman in her major publishing house. She’s dealt with the micro-aggressions and the diversity meetings with little interest and decreasing interest from the part of her co-workers. And after a meeting goes poorly between the editor she assists and an author she’s especially thrilled when Hazel arrives.
Nella thinks it would be nice to be the only one.
But Nella quickly begins to see that Hazel is not playing at any kind of solidarity. She’s take no prisoners at work at the best and possibly maybe something worse when Nella begins receiving notes warning her to Leave Wagner and Get Out While She Can.
Who is Hazel really? Is she even behind any of this? What happened to Nella’s editor hero who worked at Wagner and dropped off the face of the earth? The Other Black Girl drew me in from the beginning and more than held my interest. Nella is a likable character. I also really enjoyed her best friend and while I didn’t enjoy the office workers I thought it they were a well-drawn bunch.
And I really like how she navigated a lot of the big racial elements of the book. Everything from code-switching to having to tell a childish author that his attempt at diversity is really racist (the book stuff was honestly my favorite part) and all the fall out.
I’d give The Other Black Girl 4 stars. Really enjoyed it even with that other element and even though I’m not sure it was necessary in the first place. But mileage will definitely vary on something like that and probably readers better versed in the book than I was may not be so surprised by it.
Anyway this is a definite…
I look forward to checking out more from this author in the future.