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  • Writer's pictureNia Forrester

'On Rotation' by Shirlene Obuobi

A sweet, fun, well-rounded read. Angie Appiah has her hands full, trying to make it through med school, live up to the high expectations of her demanding Ghanian parents, and manage to have a functional adult relationship. Very early on, it looks like the relationship part of things just won't be in the cards for her. She is unceremoniously dumped by her good-on-paper boyfriend, literally hours before he is supposed to meet her parents on the occasion of her younger sister's boyfriend arriving at the family home to ask for her hand in marriage. But Angie at least has a large group of longstanding and very close friends, so it isn't as though her life is empty or anything.

I enjoyed watching Angie wrestle with all the things women do--career, friendship, family, love, and ultimately self-love. Her story was by turns funny, poignant, exasperating and affirming. I'm glad we have more books like this to read; about Black women just ... living. Not wrestling with the stains of some enormous trauma or grappling with the strain of 'living while Black', but just

experiencing the full range of what it means to be human, and coming out on the other side with their own personal version of happy. Slowly but surely, I feel like we're getting to a place where I don't have to be effusively thankful that Black protagonists like Angie not only exist, but are beginning to be the norm, but we're not there yet.

I'll read whatever this author writes next, because this book was a breath of fresh air, and left me feeling much the way fresh air does--light, unburdened and just ... happy.

Recommended for lovers of rom-coms, family-centered fiction, and women's fiction.

My rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑

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