One of the best debut novels I’ve read in recent memory was Brit Bennett’s The Mothers: a sharply-observed, beautifully written coming of age story set in a world so vividly rendered that I wondered when the inevitable movie or TV show would come. Lucky for me and for you, now we have an answer.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Brothers has optioned Bennett’s novel, with Kerry Washington attached as producer. Bennett will also write the script for the adaptation and will serve as executive producer.
Bennett has written a number of essays exploring things like Addy Walker, the first black American Girl Doll and the evolution of slavery narratives in contemporary literature as seen in Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad. She has also written for Jezebel; this great, stomping, wallop of an essay is proof of her immense talent.
The Mothers is a story about secrets, friendships, religion, set in a black community in Southern California. Nadia, the 17-year old protagonist’s mother has just committed suicide. Nadia gets involved with Luke, the pastor’s son. She gets pregnant, she gets an abortion. The story is narrated in part by a Greek chorus of the mothers of the community; the writing is clear and quietly cinematic and will make an excellent film.
Here is your homework: go read The Mothers, but when you do, take your time. It’s the kind of book you’ll want to gallop through quickly, but it deserves space to breathe. It’s very, very good. You won’t regret it.