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Book Review: Maame by Jessica George

If you're looking for a moving, powerful, and incredible debut from a fantastic author, Maame is for you! I was extremely surprised by how much I loved this book, considering I don't normally gravitate toward literary fiction, but I adored it! Check out my full review below.


Maame by Jessica George

Genres Literary Fiction, Contemporary

Format Paperback ARC

Buy on Amazon, Book Depository

Maame (ma-meh) has many meanings in Twi but in Maddie's case, it means woman.

Maddie's overbearing mother spends a lot of time in Ghana managing a hostel, and her brother has been of little help, as she takes care of her father, suffering from advanced-stage Parkinson's. Upon the return of her mother, Maddie takes the opportunity to leave home and finally begin to start living life, moving into a flatshare, eager to experience all that she can, both at work and in her personal life. Naive and lacking in self-esteem Maddie finds herself going through life's natural ups and downs, including betrayal until she is hit by a tragedy that immerses her in a world of guilt as she hits rock bottom. Through the story, Maddie examines how being 'Maame' has shaped expectations of her, of being a 'woman' before her time, of how her family sees her and her relationships, and perhaps more importantly how she has let it mold her sense of identity. It is time for things to change and for Maddie to be who and what she wants to be.


Thank you so much to St. Martins Press for sending me an advanced reader copy in exchange for a review! This does not influence my review whatsoever. There are no spoilers in this review.

I loved...

For starters, this is such a beautiful, thought-provoking, novel with a raw and realistic approach to coming of age, grief, and life in general. It was a vibrant, witty, and emotional read, and I will be picking it up for a reread soon.

I also loved the depth of all the characters, but especially Maddie, the protagonist. She had so many unique features, and quirks if you will, that let me feel connected to her, and understand her as a character and a person. The author truly embraced and grew her character, and I loved that as a reader. Maddie truly grew throughout this story, and I adored watching her face the many challenges life had thrown at her, learn who she is, and become confident in herself. Honestly, one of the best characters I have ever read about.

I found myself rooting for Maddie in all the relationships she had to navigate, and the social situations she got stuck in. And, I will be the first to admit that I am a sucker for any book that can get me in my feels, and attached to the character.

Throughout the story, the author addressed many social issues, and tough topics, so well. I appreciated the honesty and bluntness, instead of romanticizing it or sugarcoating it. I truly learned so much about struggles with cultural expectations, family issues, racism, mental health, and grief. Every conflict Maddie endured, or problem she faced, was shown instead of told. I really appreciated this because it felt like Maddie was actually going through this as a character and not just to progress her development or the plot of the book.

I had a hard time with...

This could honestly just be me being attached to the characters and not ready to be done with the story, but I really wish the book was a little longer! I would have loved a more drawn-out ending, really showing where Maddie is now.


There you have it! I absolutely adored this book, and highly recommend this to anyone who's anyone! I ended up rating this 4.5 stars and will be featuring this in future recommendation posts because this needs to be read. The commentary on social issues combined with the beautiful story is so powerful and just stunning.

Also, completely irrelevant but the cover is so gorgeous!!

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Would you read this? Have you read any books like this? Comment!

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