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Maame: Book summary and reviews of Maame by Jessica George

Maame

A Novel

by Jessica George

Maame by Jessica George X
Maame by Jessica George
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  • Published Jan 2023
    320 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

Smart, funny, and deeply affecting, Jessica George's Maame deals with the themes of our time with humor and poignancy: from familial duty and racism, to female pleasure, the complexity of love, and the life-saving power of friendship. Most important, it explores what it feels like to be torn between two homes and cultures―and it celebrates finally being able to find where you belong.

Maame (ma-meh) has many meanings in Twi but in my case, it means woman.

It's fair to say that Maddie's life in London is far from rewarding. With a mother who spends most of her time in Ghana (yet still somehow manages to be overbearing), Maddie is the primary caretaker for her father, who suffers from advanced stage Parkinson's. At work, her boss is a nightmare and Maddie is tired of always being the only Black person in every meeting.

When her mum returns from her latest trip to Ghana, Maddie leaps at the chance to get out of the family home and finally start living. A self-acknowledged late bloomer, she's ready to experience some important "firsts": She finds a flat share, says yes to after-work drinks, pushes for more recognition in her career, and throws herself into the bewildering world of internet dating. But it's not long before tragedy strikes, forcing Maddie to face the true nature of her unconventional family, and the perils––and rewards––of putting her heart on the line.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A pitch-perfect debut…The work's ample magnetism resides in the savvy portrayal of Maddie as a complicated, sharp, and vulnerable person who is trying to figure out adulthood. Readers will revel in this." – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"George has fashioned an appealing hero here: You can't help but root for Maddie's emancipation. Funny, awkward, and sometimes painful, her blossoming is a real delight to witness. A fresh, often funny, always poignant take on the coming-of-age novel." – Kirkus (starred review)

"George illustrates the complexities of navigating two cultures and rising from the pressure of other people's expectations beautifully. This is a clever and deeply moving debut." – Booklist

"A wry, compassionate debut novel...Full of dry humor and entirely relatable moments, Maame is a warmhearted, often hilarious account of one woman's journey through her awkward yet exciting 20s. Readers will root for Maddie to find self-confidence and happiness, both at work and in her personal life...George's narrative is a tribute to all women who make the effort––no matter how difficult or confusing––to take control of their own lives." – Shelf Awareness

"An utterly charming and deeply moving portrait of the joys––and the guilt––of trying to find your own way in life." – Celeste Ng, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Meeting Maame feels like falling in love for the first time: warm, awkward, joyous, a little bit heartbreaking and, most of all, unforgettable." – Xochitl Gonzalez, New York Times bestselling author of Olga Dies Dreaming

"A tender and absorbing novel." – Peace Adzo Medie, author of His Only Wife

This information about Maame was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Jessica George

Jessica George was born and raised in London to Ghanaian parents and studied English Literature at the University of Sheffield. After working at a literary agency and a theatre, she landed a job in the editorial department of Bloomsbury UK. Maame is her first novel.

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