(5 / 5) – Completes Me!
Yes! This novel with all of its 700+ pages is a resounding YES! I was able to listen to the Audible version of this novel which is excellent, but I think if I had given the paper copy a chance I would have been able to read the behemoth and LOVED every minute as much as I did with it being read to me.
So let’s talk “The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois.” Honoree Fanonne Jeffers offers up a compelling and riveting story across time and space which doesn’t shy away from the horrors of the American experience and its lasting generational trauma. Yet this book is one of hope and joy, at once championing the power of education and while clarifying its limits. Jeffers delves deep into the practices, policies and expectations that have been affecting Black and Indigenous people since the arrival of the white colonizer.
The majority of the novel and the main protagonist reside in modernity. Jeffers is able to hold the thread of Ailey’s story incredibly well while slipping effortlessly into historical family lore from the earliest residents of what will become Chicasetta, Georgia. The range of social, political and familial themes Jeffers handles with deft and authenticity is remarkable. Nothing felt forced, gratuitous or simply for shock value. This book carries with it an enormous content warning, but in the hands of Jeffers much of what is discussed is done so boldly yet with care. With that said, if there are things you prefer not to read around sexual violence in particular definitely check content warnings before diving in.
I had seen this book across so many of the book voices I follow as a must read and I will humbly add my voice to theirs. I am not a lover of the tome, but this one, this book is worth every second I gave it and I hope I choose to read it again.