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ARCS,  BOOK REVIEWS,  FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS,  MOTIVATIONAL / INSPIRATIONAL,  NETGALLEY,  NON-FICTION,  RELIGION / SPIRITUALITY

BOOK REVIEW : MOTHER TO SON LETTERS TO A BLACK BOY ON IDENTITY AND HOPE BY JASMINE L. HOLMES

TITLE : Mother To Son

AUTHOR : Jasmine L. Holmes

GENRE : Non-Fiction, Faith/Religion, Family, Inspirational, Parenting

FR RATING : ⭐⭐⭐ 3 Stars

FR REVIEW

DISCLAIMER : Thank you, Netgalley and InterVarsity Press for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am reviewing this book voluntarily.

Jasmine’s book Mother to Son is a great book for Christians written with so much heart and love in every word of the letters she has written for her two sons. The book as I mentioned consists of letters to her young black sons and is filled with wise, thought-provoking messages and advice on how to lead their life moving forward in today’s world. 

The topics are heavy, sensitive and of utmost importance in navigating the world. Issues of race, justice, and identity are discussed at lengths with love, hope, and grace. All advice on navigating these heavy topics are delivered through the lens of religious texts. The scripture plays a huge part in every piece of advice she imparts her sons, always going back to God for guidance. I loved how her faith seems to be the guiding light for her and her family through the times she faced racism. Every time she discusses the more complicated topics she comes back to the bible and how certain verses help navigate these issues with empathy, kindness, and compassion. The way she explains delicate matters shows us how fair she is even in the face of sensitive matters. Instead of letting anger guide her, she turns to the scripture for guidance and urges her young kids to do the same as well.

I just couldn’t believe some of the things people said to her and how difficult and damaging it must have been for a young woman to be faced with ugliness from people. Often times people are so ignorant and clueless that they don’t even realize the harmful words that come out of their mouth. It is really sad that a young woman has to write these letters to her young kids who will have to grow up faster because of society’s treatment towards them.

Every letter in this book is meant to hit you right at your heart and make you think and process the situations talked about n the book. The author’s experience living in a predominantly white community shows us how even God-fearing, church-going people tend to overlook and ignore some of the most important conversations that need to be had for bringing about a society that is aware of the injustices happening even in today’s day and age.

Her messages and advice are filled with love and hope by inspiring and compelling the readers to hold oneself to higher standards and also to expect the same from others as well. It was emotional for me to read at times and the hard-hitting facts of life shown in the letters make us see the world through her lenses and help us connect with her and her experiences better. The book is most definitely going to be a conversation starter in a lot of circles. The author’s intention in this book is extremely clear. She wants to let her kids grow up being informed of the life they will lead, the choices they make, the struggles they will face and the judgment and prejudice they will have to endure at the hands of people around them. Yet with all of that she encourages and urges her kids to not lose hope and stay true to themselves while simultaneously combat the misconceptions with Scripture. She laid herself bare and made herself vulnerable in this book and I found that to be a brave effort and I am glad these young boys will have a mother who will fight in their corner with grace, love, and faith even in the most challenging times.

The book was raw, honest, and beautiful. I found the letters to be powerful, thoughtful, and highly beneficial in understanding differences and also embracing them. I liked the book and found it to be compelling and persuasive. Having said that I don’t think I am the target audience for it as it and I feel Christians should definitely pick it up. My rating is not for the quality of the content, as it is a 4⭐ book in that regard, but if I took my enjoyment and me benefitting from the book into consideration, I would say it was a 3 ⭐ read for me. I believe this book should definitely be read by young black mothers, mothers, parents in general and Christians to understand her perspective and also learn more about empathy, compassion, and hope in times of difficulty. I recommend checking this book out.

SYNOPSIS

“Wynn is my son. No little boy could be more loved by his parents. Inquisitive, fiercely affectionate, staunchly opinionated, he sees the world through eyes of wonder and has yet to become jaded by society’s cruelty. I know he’ll grow up with stories of having been made to feel ‘other’ because of the color of his skin. I want to teach him that, though life’s unfair, he still has incomparable value in the eyes of his heavenly Father. I know this wondrous little person has the potential to change the world–and I want him to know it too.” 

In Mother to Son, Jasmine Holmes shares a series of powerful letters to her young son. These are about her journey as an African American Christian and what she wants her son to know as he grows and approaches the world as a black man. Holmes deals head-on with issues ranging from discipleship and marriage to biblical justice. She invites us to read over her shoulder as she reminds Wynn that his identity is firmly planted in the person and work of Jesus Christ, even when the topic is one as emotionally charged as race in America. 

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