In our first book review of the month, reviewer Lauren Michelle Finkle dives into Monica Brashears’s debut novel, House of Cotton, released last month through Flatiron Books. Brashears is a former TMR contributor (read “Psalms of Charred Summer” here) with a promising career ahead, according to Finkle, who writes that House of Cotton is “one of the most innovative stories I’ve read in a long time.” Read the full review at the link below.
“‘Mama Brown died.’ Those words falling from my lips make me feel like I’m speaking in tongues. Those words make me wish I believed in ghosts. Haunt me, Mama. Even if you a tiny puff of smoke…Haunt me like you ain’t ever left me at all.”
This paragraph from the early pages of House of Cotton captures a love so enormous and a grief so loud that the protagonist, a nineteen-year-old Black woman named Magnolia, has no choice but to be haunted by it—setting into motion the tragedies and rebirths that follow.