Our September Let’s Read Rant Repeat Book Club discussion is tonight, September 20th at 7:00pm CST! If you want to join in on the discussion, head to our instagram stories at 7:00pm, where we’ll be live over on @letsreadrantrepeat!
About Let’s Read Rant Repeat
Bookstagram is such a wonderful community and I have met quite a few folks that I now consider to be friends. One of these is Jordan from @readwithwine and together we host a Virtual Book Club @letsreadrantrepeat. Our aim is to read a variety of genres, constantly switching it up to ensure we are reading something everyone will enjoy. Each month we choose 1 book that can be practically any type of story. We host a group chat with fellow book lovers on Instagram, where we can talk about the book as we read. At the end of the month (a specified Sunday at 7pm CST) Jordan and I get together for wine & an Instagram Live discussion. We generally invite guests from our group chat to share their thoughts on the book as well!
For September we decided to read Frying Plantain. Get your copy HERE! This book fell perfectly into Latinx Heritage Month, which runs from September 15th through October 15th. While it takes place in Canada, the stories follow Kara, as she navigates life as a Jamaican-Canadian.
How to review this book, is a question I’ve been asking myself since I finished reading this little book. It was certainly a ★★★★ read for me. And while I loved it, I can’t find the words to explain why.
I’m not normally a fan of short stories, but the way Reid-Benta tied each of the stories together, I felt that we were getting glimpses or snapshots of Kara’s life instead of mini events. They all worked together well and were written in a way that made them flow together perfectly.
Set in Toronto, our main character Kara, is caught between her Jamaican heritage and her Canadian upbringing. She’s caught in the cross hairs of never being ‘enough’ of either and the battle between keeping her roots and fitting in, is the main focus of the book.
Raised by her single mother, Kara is often caught between her mother and her grandmother. The story book focuses heavily upon mother-daughter relationships, and Reid-Benta does a fantastic job of painting these relationships and making them highly relatable for readers. Or at least for mother/daughter readers. I love my mom to death but we don’t always see eye to eye, and while we like to be in each other’s company, our similar personalities can sometimes clash. I found Reid-Benta’s depictions to be ground in reality and highly realistic.
While this book focused heavily on the mother-daughter aspect, it’s ultimately an immigrant story. The struggle to keep your heritage and identify while blending into your new surrounding can be tough. As we go through the stories, we watch how Kara manages this balancing act, and how she ultimately never feels ‘enough’ of either of the cultures. The additional pressure of being the child of an immigrant, really came out in this story as well. Most immigrants, immigrant to give their families a better life, and the pressure for those children to succeed can be suffocating for some. Once again Reid-Benta did an excellent job of conveying the situation to readers and the tension that is a result of this was definitely felt.
Overall, I really enjoyed the story of Kara, and seeing her growth throughout the book was fabulous. I really rooting for her to succeed but also to make her own mark and do life ‘her way’. This book is a super fast read and I highly recommend it. Get a copy of it HERE!
I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on Frying Plantain. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my instagram @speakingof_books.
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