Where Ideas Grow

A blog for students of creative writing at York St John University

Book Review: Girl, Woman, Other

From Lauren Watts

“We should celebrate that many more women are reconfiguring feminism and that grassroots activism is spreading like wildfire and millions of women are waking up to the possibility of taking ownership of our world as fully-entitled human beings.”

Bernardine Evaristo


ISBN: 978-0-241-98499-4

Author: Bernardine Evaristo

Publisher: Hamish Hamilton

Publication Date: May 2019

Page Count: 453


 A beautifully realistic and gritty view of Britain and its misogynistic, homophobic, and racist ways. Told through the eyes of twelve individuals whose lives all intertwine in this contemporary society. Follow the trials and tribulations of girls, women, and others: how they overcome decades of discrimination to become content in their journeys of self-discovery whilst understanding that struggles and fights are part of growth. Each chapter gives a striking insight into the personal struggle of living in a society where you are not wholly accepted.


  1. The mix and juxtaposition of points of view creates a realistic representation of the different issues faced by women of colour within Britain, how the country views and treats them as well as their cross-community difficulties.
  2. The narrative prose style and first person perspective allows for a deeper connection between each of the chapter’s main characters and the reader, creating a deep sense of emotionality and intimacy.
  3. Evaristo has the burden of correctly representing and characterising different generations (as well as sexualities, genders and ethnicities) of feminine individuals, yet she pulls it off almost effortlessly, representing both old and new voices and ideologies without seeming too soapbox-y in nature.
  4. Globalized and localised interconnectedness is at the heart of this novel. The switches between perspective and time allows for all of the character’s views to be portrayed equally- whether agreeable or not- and there is definitely a character for everyone to relate to (even if it is a background straight, white, male character).
  5. Whilst definitely having a realistic (or perhaps even cynical) view of Britain, relationships, and life, Evaristo’s writing style keeps it engaging, and hopeful that maybe things will end up okay for the majority of the twelve main characters.

Critical reception

Winner of the Booker Prize 2019

Received over 30 Book of the Year and Decade honours

Won the Fiction Book of the Year and Author of the Year at the 2020 British Book Awards

Recommendation: 9/10

Fun Fact: This novel begins and ends with a play, written be Amma, based around the fictional life of a Dahomey Amazon (a Fon all-female military regiment of the Kingdom of Dahomey).

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