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Black Girls Must Die Exhausted: A Novel for Grown Ups by Jayne Allen

“Black girls must die exhausted” is something that 33-year-old Tabitha Walker has heard her grandmother say before. Of course, her grandmother (who happens to be white) was referring to the 1950’s and what she observed in the nascent times of civil rights.

With a coveted position as a local news reporter, Marc-- a “paper-perfect” boyfriend, and a standing Saturday morning appointment with a reliable hairstylist, Tabitha never imagined how this phrase could apply to her as a black girl in contemporary times – until everything changed.

An unexpected doctor’s diagnosis awakens Tabitha to an unperceived culprit, threatening the one thing that has always mattered most - having a family of her own. With the help of her best friends, the irreverent and headstrong Laila and Alexis, the former “Sexy Lexi," Tabitha must explore the reaches of modern medicine and test the limits of her relationships to beat the ticking clock on her dreams of becoming a wife and mother.

Titles. You've got to love a good one. This book grabbed my attention title first, but I ended up staying for what turned out to be one of my favourite grandparent-grandchild relationships in a book.

Tabitha Walker has to navigate work, romance and life in general as a black woman. I connected with her fears, her worries and her annoyances. I just wish I connected more with her voice. The beauty of books for me is being able to slip into someone else's skin and experience life through their eyes. Unfortunately, that was not something I was quite able to manage here. That didn't stop me from loving the friendships and family portrayed here.

Also, it's wonderful to see a character just sitting in the salon, getting her hair done. Now, that's something I can relate to! There should be more books about women in salons. So much bonding happens there.


With a grandma you'd kill to have, and a look into a black woman's daily struggles and triumphs, Black girls must Die Exhausted is perfect for anyone looking for a light read with a different perspective.

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