Advance reader reviews of Something Like Beautiful by Asha Bandele.

Something Like Beautiful

One Single Mother's Story

By Asha Bandele

Something Like Beautiful
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2009,
    208 pages.

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There are currently 33 member reviews
for Something Like Beautiful
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  • CatieN (Aurora CO)


    Something Like Beautiful
    This is a beautifully written memoir of Asha Bandele's journey through "single" motherhood in NYC. (Technically, Asha is not single, but her husband is in prison.) I admire the author's honesty, which is sometimes almost painful to read. There are no fairy-tale endings here; in other words, real life.
  • Sandy (Houston TX)


    Something Like Beautiful
    I struggled through the first half of this memoir. Going in, I had hoped, most of all, to gain an understanding of why the author made the choice to marry a prisoner. Unfortunately, the story with Rashid is never fully developed, leaving the reader (or me, anyway) unsympathetic about her plight. In fact, I found myself more frustrated with the author than anything. Despite the fact that she comes from a supportive family, with a good education and a great job, the author seems to blame all of her troubles on being a woman of color. The second half of the book, however, is significantly better, as Bandele details her downward spiral into severe depression and the struggle to find herself again. I will likely recommend this book to a friend who is battling depression; however, tell her to skip the first half.
  • Carol (St. Louis Park MN)


    If you enjoyed Nickel and Dimed....
    If you enjoyed reading Nickel and Dimed, the story of a single woman trying to live on a minimum wag and James Frey's, A Million Little Pieces, a drug addict's memoir, you night enjoy Something Like Beautiful by Asha Bandele.

    This memoir deals with being Black, being woman, wife and mother. Asha has incredible self-knowledge, knowledge that opens your eyes to 2008
    Black issues and experiences; but also mirrors aspects of the human experience that could be life changing.

    Asha has an unusual style of writing that captures the poet in us. Individual ideas branch out reminiscent of the experience of surfing the net. Her repetition of words, phrases and sentences that help us understand the inner wanderings of her subconscious.

    This quote from Chapter 23, p.164, says it all.

    I want my wounds to be acknowledged.
    I want them healed.
    And I want myself back.
    That's what we all have to say, at some point what we have to demand.
    Give me back.
    Give me back.
  • Cynthia (Puyallup WA)


    Something Like Beautiful
    I approached this story with great curiosity - I have often wondered about what type of woman would marry an incarcerated felon. I thought that perhaps this book would provide some insight as to what drew her to this person and situation that, to me, was like playing with fire. So I had a very open and eager mind to reading her story. At the end – I cannot say that I am disappointed even though my original question went basically unanswered – but what I didn’t expect what that during the journey of Bandele’s story, more questions arose and were answered to in a beautiful and honest approach to herself with regard to her daughter (and future) as well as to her past. This is a story of one woman’s survival and endurance and I applaud that approach. Where I had a problem, is where she reigned in all of the other single mothers “out there” as sharing in her story and struggle. In a nutshell – eh, no. Not even close.
  • Cam (Murrells Inlet SC)


    Something Like Beautiful
    This is a memoir about a young woman dealing with depression as well as raising a young child as a single mother. I, initially, had quite a bit of trouble getting into her account of her life which I thought was somewhat overdone. However, the more I continued to read, particularly when she finally recognized that she finally needed help, I realized how beautifully she does write...she is truly a poet!
  • Cheri (Grand Rapids MN)


    Single mothers might want to stone her
    If you are looking for a book about a strong woman who sacrificed everything to take care of her daughter alone... this is not the book for you. If you are a single mother and looking for a person to relate to that has struggled like you have and survived.. this is not the book for you.

    If you are looking for a book about a whiny victim who put her own self into this position and wants to use the race and sexism card and act like she is the only one who has ever raised a child.. then sure waste a few days. I AM a single mother and I can say I have never wanted to slap a person more then this person. I have struggled to raise my child because raising a child is a struggle. Things have not been easier for me because I am white. Things have not come more easily because I have a boy.

    Have I looked at my child and thought what if... yeah of course. But I didn't need loads of therapy to be reminded to pull up my big girl panties and just deal with it. She created the shark pit she was in ... and just sitting still isn't going to save her!!!
  • gj (Martinsburg WV)


    something like beautiful
    This is a poignant memoir of a woman who discovers everything she needs to survive loneliness, abuse and depression can be found in the presence of her daughter, Nisa, whom she raises by herself.
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