Something Like Beautiful: Book summary and reviews of Something Like Beautiful by Asha Bandele

Something Like Beautiful

One Single Mother's Story

By Asha Bandele

Something Like Beautiful
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Jan 2009,
    208 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

From the author of The Prisoner's Wife, a poetic, passionate, and powerful memoir about the hard realities of single motherhood.

When Asha Bandele, a young poet, fell in love with a prisoner serving a twenty-to-life sentence and became pregnant with his daughter, she had reason to hope they would live together as a family. Rashid was a model prisoner, and expected to be paroled soon. But soon after Nisa was born, Asha's dreams were shattered. Rashid was denied parole, and told he'd be deported to his native Guyana once released. Asha became a statistic: a single, black mother in New York City.

On the outside, Asha kept it together. She had a great job at a high-profile magazine and a beautiful daughter whom she adored. But inside, she was falling apart. She began drinking and smoking and eventually stumbled into another relationship, one that opened new wounds. This lyrical, astonishingly honest memoir tells of her descent into depression when her life should have been filled with love and joy. Something Like Beautiful is not only Asha's story, but the story of thousands of women who struggle daily with little help and much against them, and who believe they have no right to acknowledge their pain. Ultimately, drawing inspiration from her daughter, Asha takes account of her life and envisions for herself what she believes is possible for all mothers who thought there was no way out—and then discovered there was.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Mothers single and married, black and white will find nurturance in her story." - Library Journal.

The information about Something Like Beautiful shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Jayne
Something Like Beautiful
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was well written and felt like the author put her heart and soul into this book. Her love for her daughter is shown through out the book and she sounds like a great mother. It really makes you take a look at your own life and be grateful for what you have. I would recommend this book to my friends and I am glad I had a chance to read it.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Carol
Something Like Beautiful
A strong, honest memoir – Asa pulls no punches, however, I ask . . . as a single mother why would anyone deliberately put herself into this position of life – husband in jail, baby conceived in a trailer never to be able to enjoy the fruits of their love for each other.

As many other women, I too have wondered how women can stay in such abusive relationships, and after having read this sad, but beautiful book I came away with some new insight. This book is one woman’s story of the difficulties one faces in loving the “wrong” kind of man while trying to balance motherhood with work and one’s self. The subject matter is not for everyone. But for those interested in taking a look at someone's life from a different perspective, it's worth an afternoon of quiet reading.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Talya
An intense, emotional memoir about love, single motherhood, and depression.
In this powerful memoir Asha shares her life with the reader. Her emotions are so beautifully shared and it is not just about being a single mother or about loving an unavailable man, but a book about depression, family, and reflection. The writing feels a bit disjointed at times but I think it is Asha's poetic style of writing. I am looking forward to reading her other novels.

Rated 2 of 5 of 5 by Kat
Cliche
The author knew all the right things to say and share. But in spite of her assertions that she didn't want to be a victim, that's exactly the impression I got from her. When she speaks of acknowledging the "truth" she seems to hedge her life decisions under the umbrella of being adopted, being sexually abused as a child, being physically abused as an adult, being a single black mother, etc, etc. To me, this was further evidenced with all the statistics, facts and figures quoted. While I can understand how any one of this events could screw with your head, the author was trying to convince me she was past it all. I didn't buy it. Also I feel she is unconsciously putting an awful lot of pressure on her daughter to "save" her. The fact is, in the end, we must each be our own salvation.

Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Robin
Something Like Beautiful
When I started this book, it seemed to be about choices and hopefulness, with an innocence about it. However, by the time I was to the middle, I stopped feeling sorry for the writer. I was distressed by the events in her life and what seemed to be her poor decision making skills. This woman is clearly intelligent, but how she choses to live her life was frustrating to read about. She obviously loves her child and very much wanted a family, but I found the book to be very sad. Asha is so gifted that I wanted more for her.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Julie
Something Like Beautiful
I loved this memoir! The prose is absolutely beautiful. This is a short book, but it packs in a lot of big emotions. If you have been a mother, loved and lost or ever felt depressed or lonely you will be able to relate to this woman. I will certainly be recommending this book and will be checking out her previous offerings.

...28 more reader reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Information

More Information

Asha Bandele is an author and journalist. A former features editor for Essence magazine, Asha is the author of two collections of poems, the award-winning memoir The Prisoner's Wife, and the novel Daughter. She lives in Brooklyn with her daughter.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Take This Man
    Take This Man
    by Brando Skyhorse
    "A chorus of six men calling me Son might sound ludicrous to you, but to me it's the sound of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Hundred-Year House
    The Hundred-Year House
    by Rebecca Makkai
    Rebecca Makkai's sophomore novel The Hundred-Year House could just have easily been titled ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Valley of Amazement
    by Amy Tan
    "Mirror, Mirror on the wall
    I am my mother after all!"


    In my pre-retirement days as a professor ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Tomlinson Hill
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.