Black Girls Must Die Exhausted

Black Girls Must Die Exhausted: A Novel

by Jayne Allen
Genres: Fiction
Published on September 6, 2018
Format: eBook Source: Library

The first novel in a captivating three-book series about modern womanhood, in which a young Black woman must rely on courage, laughter, and love—and the support of her two longtime friends—to overcome an unexpected setback that threatens the most precious thing she’s ever wanted.
Tabitha Walker is a black woman with a plan to “have it all.”  At 33 years old, the checklist for the life of her dreams is well underway. Education? Check. Good job? Check. Down payment for a nice house? Check. Dating marriage material? Check, check, and check. With a coveted position as a local news reporter, a "paper-perfect" boyfriend, and even a standing Saturday morning appointment with a reliable hairstylist, everything seems to be falling into place.
Then Tabby receives an unexpected diagnosis that brings her picture-perfect life crashing down, jeopardizing the keystone she took for granted: having children. With her dreams at risk of falling through the cracks of her checklist, suddenly she is faced with an impossible choice between her career, her dream home, and a family of her own.
With the help of her best friends, the irreverent and headstrong Laila and Alexis, the mom jeans-wearing former "Sexy Lexi," and the generational wisdom of her grandmother and the nonagenarian firebrand Ms. Gretchen, Tabby explores the reaches of modern medicine and tests the limits of her relationships, hoping to salvage the future she always dreamed of. But the fight is all consuming, demanding a steep price that forces an honest reckoning for nearly everyone in her life. As Tabby soon learns, her grandmother's age-old adage just might still be true: Black girls must die exhausted.

I’m surprised that I liked this book as much as I did. Actually, I’m surprised that I even read it. Usually I avoid stories dealing with infertility. I tend to hate people who talk about “not being able to relate” to elements in a story but wanting to have children is so far away from anything that I can imagine that infertility stories bore and frustrate me.

What drew me to this story of the checklist that the main character had for her life. I could totally relate to that.

There was a lot going on in this book. It features discussions on racism, intersectionality, gentrification, police brutality, aging, interracial relationships, adultery, suicide, and miscarriage on top of the infertility storyline. That sounds like it should be depressing but it isn’t.

The secondary characters are well written. They are complete characters and not just simple foils for the main character. Each is going through their own struggles.

I loved Granny Tab and Ms. Gretchen. They are friends living in a nursing home. Ms. Gretchen is a wild 90 plus year old lady. She’s fun. Granny Tab is a white woman who married a black man in West Virginia. She had to leave her home behind because of the racism surrounding her relationship and child. She’s Tabitha’s grandmother. Their discussions about how they each have experienced the world are some of the most profound in the book.

I’m not a fan of Tabitha’s boyfriend. He’s just awful. He can go away no matter what she thinks.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series when it comes out next year.