Review:: Mother of the Sea by Zetta Elliot

When her village is raided, a teenage girl finds herself on a brutal journey to the coast of Africa and across the Atlantic. Her only comfort is a small child who clings to her for protection. But once they board the slave ship, the child reveals her rebellious nature and warns that her mother—a fierce warrior—is coming to claim them all in Mother of the Sea. (via Goodreads)


I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I originally fell in love with Mother of the Sea‘s cover shortly after publication, and told the author so on Twitter. Elliot reached out to me on Twitter and asked if I was interested in a review copy. Of course, I said yes! And then this book sat on my counter under a painting for two months.

This book packs a punch for it being only 47 pages long. It tells the story of a Yoruba woman who is stolen from her village and enslaved. There are a lot of trigger warnings that go with this kind of story – rape, assault, murder, enslavement, drowning, abuse, etc. Please please please be careful with yourself if you read this.

That being said, I really enjoyed this novella. It’s short and stunning. The main character is never named, except near the very end, and yet I felt very connected to her. I couldn’t put the book down, even to take notes on it.

My only complaint is that I wanted a little bit more in the way of character development. I feel like a few more pages could have really made this even more powerful.

If you like novellas about slavery, written by a black woman, give Mother of the Sea a try! You can pick up a copy on Amazon or Indiebound!

Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound and Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money off of it.

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