Finished reading: Luster by Raven Leilani 📚

Arresting novel about a woman who has a relationship with a married man and becomes part of his family. Big dynamics on race and power. She’s got serious issues which he uses for his benefit, unwittingly or not. His wife is the most interesting character and their friendship is crux of the book.

Side note: made me also think about what a NJ life would have been for my wife and I, had we stayed in New York. Unrelenting pressure of competitive burbs, living in indentikit, soulless houses in “safe” neighbourhoods. The feeling of guilt if you’re not doing everything all the time compounded if you feel that guilt for your kids. Totally beside the point of the story but nevertheless that was my personal reaction.

My whiteness and privilege probably means many underlying messages of the book go over my head. Enjoyed it despite that and learned things about being black in America that I had a low level awareness of but now have an appreciation that is slightly less shallow.

The prose is fast! Highly enjoyable to read, reads like a proper new yorker jabbering away at you a million miles per hour. Precise and funny but also sad.