Hi and welcome to the reading world!
Today, I’m so excited to be sharing a review of a book that could definitely be my favorite 2021 read, Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn.
At the start of this story, Patsy is a woman living in Jamaica with her mother and her own young daughter, True. However, Patsy wants to go to the United States to reunite with her lifelong friend, Cicely. Patsy makes a difficult choice, and the impacts of this are played out both in her and True’s life across years. This is a powerful story that examines the relationships between generations, home and place, and also features some incredibly written storylines with LGBTQ representation.
Character-driven stories are generally my favorites, and Patsy has characters with incredible depth and nuance. No one is meant to be seen as perfect, and following them across time meant seeing growth and change in ways that were also imperfect. This is one of the main reasons why I personally was so drawn into this story right from the first few pages. Patsy herself isn’t a protagonist where I agreed with all of her choices and other characters are sometimes hurt by her actions, but she is trying to do the best she can. Patsy’s struggle as she makes these decisions and lives with the consequences are central to her character development and her story’s narration.
True’s story also carries through the novel, and her understanding of her mother, herself, and the impact of choices she lives with is oftentimes juxtaposed to Patsy’s story. I did personally want more time for True’s character development to shine since her story was so compelling as well, but by the end of the novel I still really appreciated the story and themes we had gotten to see from True.
The plot takes the complexities of the central characters and explores these through themes and threads juxtaposing mother and daughter’s stories, relationships, triumphs, and failures. I absolutely loved the writing style and definitely want to read more by this author to see the exploration of themes and character development in other works.
Overall, Patsy is a novel that I still think back on, definitely plan to reread, and highly recommend if you’re interested. Please note there are some difficult topics covered in the story, so I would definitely recommend checking The Storygraph where readers are able to contribute to an in-depth list of trigger and content warnings for a book.
Have you read Patsy? What’s been your favorite read so far this year?
Thank you for stopping by!