Rootless by Krystle Zara Appiah
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Themes: Marriage, Motherhood, Time Skips, Young Love
Summary: There are two sides to every love story...
Teenagers Efe and Sam first meet in London in the 1990s. Years later the best friends are married. Their love story couldn't seem more perfect. But Sam wants to start a family.
Efe wants to be free from children to focus on her dreams. When an unplanned pregnancy forces them to confront their differences, Efe and Sam must discover if what they really want is still each other...
2. Strictly Friends by Frances Mensah Williams
Themes: Family, Romance, Holidays, Betrayal, Ex-Lovers, Love Triangles
Summary: One island paradise. One hell of a choice.
When Ruby Lamont’s young son Jake starts telling tall tales about the dad who walked out on them six years ago, she realises that, for her son’s sake, it’s time to find out the truth. It’s not that she wants Kenny back in her life―her best friend, charming commitment-phobe Griffin, has always been more of a father-figure to Jake―but if she can understand once and for all why Kenny broke her heart by leaving her, perhaps she and Jake can finally move on.
Their journey takes them to heart-shaped Sorrel Island, a Caribbean paradise that according to legend was created as an enchanted refuge for lovers. For no-nonsense Ruby, romance is the last thing on her mind. Spoiling for a fight, she confronts her runaway ex, but he’s a changed man, or so he claims. Just as Ruby’s starting to remember what she saw in Kenny, gorgeous American portrait artist Mac propositions her for a role as his muse, or more…and when Griffin shows up out of the blue, seemingly with more on his mind than friendly moral support, the tropical heat builds to an inferno.
3. Dazzling by Chikodili Emelumadu
Themes: Coming of Age, Mothers and Daughters, Spirituality, Myths and Legends
Summary: Treasure and her mother lost everything when Treasure's daddy died. Haggling for scraps in the market, Treasure meets a spirit who promises to bring her father back - but she has to do something for him first.
Ozoemena has an itch in the middle of her back that can't be scratched. An itch that speaks to her patrilineal destiny, to defend her people by becoming a leopard. Her father impressed upon her what an honour this was before he vanished, but it's one she couldn't want less.
But as the two girls reckon with their burgeoning wildness and the legacy of their fathers' decisions, Ozoemena's fellow students at her new boarding school start to vanish. Treasure and Ozoemena will face terrible choices as each must ask herself: in a world that always says 'no' to women, what must two young girls sacrifice to get what is theirs?
4. Mandem Edited By Iggy London
Themes: Black Masculinity, Sexuality, Contemporary Manhood
Summary: In a beautiful blend of prose and lyricism, each essay sees its author tap into their most vulnerable place - engaging honestly in conversations often silently grappled with by Black British men because of socially enforced beliefs around Black masculinity.
The themes in this essay collection range from the importance of male role models and the unique relationship between mother and son to the sexual pressure placed on young heterosexual men, while also asking the question: "what does contemporary Black queerness actually look like?"
5. Unruly Therapeutic: Black Feminist Writings and Practices in Living Room by Folake Taylor
Themes: Prose, Poetry, Therapy, Black Womanhood
Summary: Part thesis, part memoir and part poetry, this book is unlike any other therapeutic text. Psychotherapist and writer Foluke Taylor explores how the centering of Black women’s experiences in therapeutic scholarship allows for greater space―space for wandering, for wondering and for deepening narratives―in every therapeutic relationship. Beginning with the book’s poetic structuring, Taylor rejects the need for a streamlined solution, instead inviting the reader to take a different path through her crucial research―one that is unruly, nonlinear, and celebratory of the richer, fuller narratives allowed for by Black feminisms.
6. When Trying to Return Home By Jennifer Maritza McCauley
Genre: Short Stories
Themes: Afro-Latino Lives, Coming of Age, Belonging, Romance, Period
Summary: A dazzling debut collection spanning a century of Black American and Afro-Latino life in Puerto Rico, Pittsburgh, Louisiana, Miami, and beyond—and an evocative meditation on belonging, the meaning of home, and how we secure freedom on our own terms
Profoundly moving and powerful, the stories in When Trying to Return Home dig deeply into the question of belonging. A young woman is torn between overwhelming love for her mother and the need to break free from her damaging influence during a desperate and disastrous attempt to rescue her brother from foster care. A man, his wife, and his mistress each confront the borders separating love and hate, obligation and longing, on the eve of a flight to San Juan. A college student grapples with the space between chivalry and machismo in a tense encounter involving a nun. And in 1930s Louisiana, a woman attempting to find a place to call her own chances upon an old friend at a bar and must reckon with her troubled past.
7. To My Sisters: A Guide to Building Lifelong Friendship by Courtney Daniella Boateng and Renee Kapuku
Themes: Sisterhood, Chosen Family
Summary: Everyone needs someone to love, support and cherish them unconditionally. Except, it doesn’t always take the form of a spouse or a parent. What if the relationship you craved was a good ol’ sister?
8. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
Themes: Magic, Coming of Age, Retelling myths
Summary: After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants to escape. A residential programme for bright high-schoolers seems like the perfect opportunity – until she witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus . . .
A flying demon feeding on human energies.
A secret society of so-called “Legendborn” that hunt the creatures down.
A mysterious mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts – and fails – to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.