Review: And I Do Not Forgive You by Amber Sparks

First and foremost, this is an incredibly feminist work. I don’t know what it is about raising tiny men, but my feminism has grown with the birth of each new boy. I think I feel a responsibility to raise them in a home where they see women as capable of anything, and that means I have to be capable of anything.

At any rate, that means I’ve been reading more and more feminist books, because that’s where my taste is leaning. And each of those books feeds that feminist fire. So, around and around we go.

I adore And I Do Not Forgive You. I’m not going to lie, I picked it up because the title spoke to me. I’ve been contemplating a lot lately how as women we’re expected to forgive and move on and be the bigger person “because we’re the natural caregivers” and how that’s such bullshit. So, good job to whomever picked the title of that essay and then decided it should also be the title of the book. You hit your mark.

The collection is odd because it’s a mix of magical realism, contemporary pieces, and fairy tale, with one complete horror story thrown in, but it works because of the unifying theme. In fact, it feels better for not all being one genre. I have not read an extraordinary number of short story collections, so maybe genre mixes aren’t that unusual, but it felt like it might be.

I finished this book feeling both empowered as a woman and simultaneously like there’s so much work left to be done, but the fact that it made me feel so strongly both ways is exceptional.

This one is definitely for fans of Any Man, The Power, and Vox, or really for anyone looking for a feminist fiction read.

Disclosure: All links in this post are Bookshop affiliate links.

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