Banned Review: Girlcott by Florenz Webbe Maxwell

oh look, it’s the review I was supposed to post yesterday and didn’t because I was distracted by misogynistic twaddle…

Even in paradise revolutions can be inconvenient things.

A week ago, Desma Johnson had only two things on her mind. In exactly eight days, she would be sixteen years old. And, to top it off, she was in line for a top scholarship, bringing her one step closer to her dreams. Life was perfect and nothing would get in the way of her birthday plans. But its 1959 and the secret Progressive League has just announced a boycott of all cinemas in Bermuda in order to end racial segregation.

As anxieties around the boycott build, Desma becomes increasingly aware of the racial tensions casting a dire shadow over the island. Neighbours she once thought were friendly and supportive begin to show another side. So, Desma must learn that change is never easy, and even when others expect small things from black girls, she has the right to dream big.

In this startling debut, Florenz Webbe Maxwell takes a little known fact about Caribbean history and weaves an engaging tale that speaks eloquently to the contemporary experience. Girlcott takes you beyond the image of Bermuda as a piece of paradise and charts a narrative of resistance, hope and the importance of fighting for change.

The Meta Details:
Source: Netgalley
Format: eBook
Length: 175 pages
Publication Date: September 15, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction, Coming of Age
Content Level: Young Adult
Pearl Clutching Content: REVOLUTION!
Trigger Warnings: Assault, racism
Featuring: a wonderful young woman taking control of her life and the world around her

Recommended for:
Rating: Essential

Ginny Lurcock’s Thoughts: Oh goodness, this was such a good and important book.

I can never know what it’s like to be a black woman. That’s just the nature of life. I will never know how it feels to be looked down on for the color of my skin. To have doors closed in my face. For people to act as if I was not human. But, by reading well-written books by black women about black characters and the struggles they face, I can get a glimpse of what they’ve gone through.

Girlcott is a stunning example of this. By reading through Desma’s experience of learning exactly what racism and segregation mean as she leaves her childhood behind, I got to see her world. I could read about her pain. My heart broke and I wanted to cry, choking on ugly black emotions and my own white guilt. But it’s necessary to feel those things. It’s necessary to know, even if I can never fully KNOW.

(You know?)

It reminds me why we have to keep fighting for equality. It reminds me why I cannot stay silent and complicit in racism.

In summation, Girlcott was astounding. Well crafted with touching characters waking up to the injustice around them and going through troubled times to make their world a better place. How much more can you ask for in a book?

A complimentary copy of this book was provided in exchange for a fair and honest review via Netgalley.

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