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
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2009
    208 pages
    Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

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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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

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

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Reader Reviews

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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.

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.

Betsy, high school librarian

Poetical memoir
Something Like Beautiful: One Single Mother’s Story by Asha Bandele is a poetically told memoir of the disappointments, joys and challenges of a single mother. Many of us who share that experience can relate to the deep honesty she relates, even though circumstances are different for us all. Her book touches on her struggle for identity, love and, ultimately, the triumph of finding herself and celebrating her daughter. It is well worth the read: book clubs would find it discussable and even some of my high school students would find it to be compelling.

Carmen

Moving, touching, realistic!
This is overwhelmingly real. She has captured all the emotions, thoughts, suffering of many single mothers. Her story is the story of many women in the world. Even though it her story her words fit in the heart, mind and the mouth of many women of yesterday, today and tomorrow. I will recommend this book to everyone, but especially to the men of this world.

Jean

Something Like Beautiful
This book took me to places that I've never been, and gave me a new understanding of the challenges some people have. The author related her feelings and experiences in an honest, heartfelt way. With a lump in my throat, I kept reading and rooting for this amazing woman.

I will certainly recommend this book to all my friends. Thank you.

Jean Nelson
New Richmond, Ohio

Carol

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.

...29 more reader reviews

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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.

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