The Trouble With White Women: A Counterhistory of Feminism by Kyla Schuller

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Publication Date: October 5, 2021

The Trouble With White Women: A Counterhistory of Feminism is an important read for anyone interested in the history of feminism.

Feminism vs. Intersectional Feminism

Kyla Schuller traces the beginnings of white feminism along with its counterhistory of intersectional feminism, something which has been around for as long as white feminism. Each chapter examines a white feminist, as well as an intersectional feminist. Schuller begins with the original white feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton and goes all the way to Sheryl Sandberg. Some intersectional feminists discussed are Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, a leading abolitionist-feminist, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, politician and activist.

Schuller explains how white feminism tends to prioritize white women’s needs and concerns, while neglecting the struggles that women of colour face. While white feminism is self-serving, intersectional feminism supports racial, economic, disability, and sexual justice, in addition to gender justice.

Thoughts on The Trouble with White Women

White feminism is not something that needs to be made more inclusive, but rather it needs to be trashed and begun anew.

I am a huge fan of AOC, but before reading this, I did not consider how much pressure she is under to represent her constituents around the clock, to fight for equality, and to look good while doing it all. It’s a lot for just one person.

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Thank you to Bold Type Books/ Perseus Books for providing me with an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Publication Date: October 5, 2021

This is a hard book to read, but it is an important one that realistically renders the current divisions in society.

Jen is six months pregnant and is sitting at a bar waiting for her best friend Riley to show up so the pair can catch up on each other’s lives. As the two friends are chatting, Jen gets a string of urgent texts from her husband Kevin, a police officer, that instantly alarms her and causes her to gather her belongings and leave, only telling Riley that “something happened. To Kevin.”

Riley, a news reporter, learns very quickly that Kevin and his partner shot an unarmed Black teenager named Justin Dwyer. Riley is put on the case and struggles to compartmentalize between doing her job, feeling the anguish of another Black member of her community harmed by police, and balancing her now rocky friendship with Jen.

Before all this happened Riley and Jen never spoke about race, but now the subject is unavoidable, and the stark differences of their life experiences put them at odds with each other. As a Black woman, Riley feels the hurt of another Black man suffering because of lethal police brutality. Meanwhile, Jen struggles to balance between supporting her husband and dealing with the horrible knowledge of his actions. Jen frequently fails to comprehend that the problem lies in racism and too often makes it about herself.

This novel sadly plays out true-to-life. It echoes what happened in the aftermath of when Derek Chauvin and his accomplices murdered George Floyd and everyone before and after him. It is a heartbreaking story of one too many BIPOC who suffer at the hands of police brutality.

We Are Not Like Them is a brilliantly written novel. This author duo did a superb job of getting to the heart of each character. Usually I’m iffy about co-authored books, but I cannot imagine this book written any other way. It highlights the obvious need for change, for police reform.

Thank you to Atria Books/Simon and Schuster Canada for providing me with an arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5

Publication Date: October 5, 2021

This is a fun start to a new fantasy series about a young introverted nun who gets pushed out of her comfort zone and must take down an unknown force.

Since the age of ten, Artemisia has been a Gray Sister, tending to dead bodies lest they become corrupted and a danger to the living. Artemisia understands the dead, the living, not so much. When it’s time for her class of nuns to be tested to determine their futures, Artemisia plans to fail in order to remain at the convent and continue looking after the dead and avoid human interaction. However, when the convent suddenly comes under attack, Artemisia becomes half-possessed by an ancient revenant and has to contend with sharing her headspace with the snarky spirit. Together, they must unravel a mystery involving saints, nuns, Old Magic, and deception.

I’ve read and loved Margaret Rogerson’s past novels, so I thought this would be no different. While I enjoyed this, I didn’t love it as much as the previous two standalone books; it was still a solid read.

There’s the right amount of atmospheric writing with a couple of heart-pounding action scenes. I took off 1.5 stars because the narration was a tad slow and aimless at times (I read somewhere that the author started another round of editing after e-galleys became available, so the final copy might be less rambling). Overall, I felt that the author introduced the world in easily digestible amounts.

The revenant and Artemisia are the dynamic duo I didn’t know I needed. Their endless banter had me chuckling more than a few times.

I am excited for the sequel.

Thank you to Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster Canada for the arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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ABOUT ME

I’ve been a book lover since the moment I learned to read. I typically read 100 books per year, give or take. I read across a broad range of genres, including Fantasy, Literary, Thrillers, Mystery/Suspense, Own Voices, LGBTQIA2S+, Horror, Historical Fiction, YA, Nonfiction (preferably social issues), Women’s Fiction, and the occasional Romance or Sci-Fi. 

I will inhale anything to do with the Classical World. My undergrad was in Classical Languages, and I am still obsessed. 

I began reviewing books in March 2021 and have built a sizeable community of book friends in that short period. I have an addiction to Netgalley.

When I’m not reading, I’m travelling, not right now, of course. See The Globe on Wheels for wheelchair-accessible travel content.