My experience of the book ran parallel to the feelings Owusu was trying to convey in her memoir. The beginning was very confusing, and stylistically challenging to get into. Once I started to get used to who she was and where she came from, I started to feel Nadia’s emotions and experiences. It is overwhelming. She has been through so much, and feels so much pain from her experiences. Her writing about it is literary and at times feels objective and removed from her experinece, while at other times she is so very clearly reliving her experiences on the page. In this way, this memoir is exceptional and kind of genius. She gets to the root of her personal issues and those thrust on her by various societies. She notes how racism changes depending on where you are in the world, and how unsettled she has felt living her multiracial life in different countries with different sets of expectations.
At times she rambles on about a specific topic, and you can tell that those things have changed her, and that she is processing those changes. At times she brushes over different scenarios from her life, and you can tell that she is still experiencing pain, or that those things didn’t impact her as much as you would expect.
So while at first, because of the abruptness with which she writes, I found it difficult to get into Owusu’s story. But as the book continued, although I have very little in common with Owusu, I was able to empathize with her clear portrayal of a wide array of emotions in processing her life. I found this to be one of the better memoirs I’ve read recently, and this is perhaps because Owusu is not straightforward, but rather expects the reader to keep up despite their potential confusion. She speaks truths eloquently.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.