Freshwater by Awaeke Emezi

I found Freshwater for Read Harder, task 11. This is a debut novel by a queer author that was recommended by Book Riot. It was just the right book for the way I was feeling too. I had taken a bit of time off to get over the end of the Shatter Me series and was waiting for the hold I had on Lady Smoke to come through but that turned out to be a little much of a wait. When I remembered that Freshwater was in one of my Scribd lists, I figured it was a shot. What was the worst that could happen?

It turned out to be perfect. It’s a standalone story, which is perfect at the end of a favored series. It was also rather captivating right from the start. The story itself is about a girl that is born with a “fractured self”. In itself that is pretty interesting but it was the POV that reeled me in. It’s not told from the perspective of her primary self or personality. Because of the nature of the POV self, it feels like the story of a demon possession from the perspective of the demon. There are even moments where the POV self, Asughara, interacts with her primary self, Ada, as if they are in a room talking to each other.

When Ada grows up and the things that happen to many girls happen to Ada, her other selves respond as well. It seemed like she was crowded in her self, and it was fascinating to read about. There were some terrible things that happen and some terrible things that are done, but there are also tender moments and responses. Altogether it was a great read that I’d recommend to anyone doing Read Harder this year but also those interested in stories about personality, or women’s stories in general. There’s a lot to mull over and I think it would also make an interesting book club book.

Add Freshwater to your Goodreads or Litsy TBR!

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