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Life and Other Love Songs

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A father’s sudden disappearance exposes the private fears, dreams, longings, and joys of a Black American family in the late decades of the twentieth century, in this page-turning and intimate new novel from the author of The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls.

It’s a warm, bright October afternoon, and Ozro Armstead walks out into the brilliant sunshine on his thirty-seventh birthday. At home, his wife Deborah and daughter Trinity prepare a surprise celebration; down the street, his brother waves as Oz heads back to his office after having lunch together.

But he won’t make it to the party or even to his briefcase back at his desk. He’s about to disappear.

In the days, months, and years to follow, Deborah and Trinity look backward and forward as they piece together the life of the man they love, but whom they come to realize they might never have truly known.

In a gripping narrative that moves from the Great Migration to 1970s Detroit and 1990s New York, we follow the hopes, triumphs, losses, and secrets that build up and tear apart an American family.

336 pages, Hardcover

First published April 11, 2023

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About the author

Anissa Gray

2 books543 followers
Anissa Gray was born and raised in western Michigan, where her father pastored a Pentecostal church and her mother was a homemaker. She graduated from Western Michigan University and received her Masters in English from New York University. After graduate school, Anissa went on to work as a print reporter at Reuters in Manhattan, covering global financial news. That was followed by a move to Atlanta and the initiation of her career in broadcast journalism at CNN, where she has held roles as writer, editor, and producer, receiving Emmy and duPont awards for contributions to the network’s coverage of major stories.

After more than 20 years as a journalist, Anissa, a lifelong book lover and voracious reader, pursued fiction writing, applying her love of storytelling from the realm of real-life, newsworthy happenings to the events and encounters that shape our lives. Her first novel, The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls, will be published in 2019.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 160 reviews
Profile Image for Terrie  Robinson.
444 reviews718 followers
May 27, 2023
Life and Other Love Songs by Anissa Gray is a Multigeneration Family Fiction Story!

After a low key lunch with his younger brother Tommy, thirty-seven-year-old Oz Armstead never makes it back to work where he left his brief case by his desk and his sports coat hanging on the back of his chair in his office.

He never makes it home that evening to his wife Deborah and their daughter Trinity for the surprise birthday party they had planned for him.

Instead, Oz Armstead simply disappears...

Life and Other Love Songs is a multigeneration Family Fiction story with a slow-burn beginning that quickly drew me in. I love the flawed characters who make-up this painfully dysfunctional family. All their secrets and the friends who surround them translate into a story that's especially tragic and heartbreaking.

Life and Other Love Songs is a character driven story where emotions run high and topics are plentiful: alcoholism, rape, AIDS epidemic, 1967 Detroit riots, and childhood trauma. It may not be a book for everyone but what makes it appealing is how well the author allows the reader to get to know each of her vulnerable characters. That rawness is what I love most about her writing.

Is this author's writing a standout? Not at first glance. Have there been other books I've read this year that overshadow her writing? Absolutely, however, this story about an American family in turmoil felt special and made my heart hurt. It dove into what was personally troubling in each of these characters lives and how each one left an indelible mark on the others. The realization that one of their parts, Oz, was missing threw each of them off their mutual axis.

Life and Other Love Songs, set in the 20th Century, is a book that was hard for me to put down, one I swallowed up in two sittings, and spoke to me in a uniquely different way. I highly recommend to those who love Family Fiction with fractured and imperfect characters!

4 Family Stars!

Thank you to Berkley for an ARC of this book through NetGalley. It has been an honor to give my honest and voluntary review.
April 29, 2023
**Many thanks to Shelf Awareness, NetGalley, Berkley, and Anissa Gray for an ARC of this book! Now available as of 4.11!**

"Life's a long song
But the tune ends too soon for us all"-'Life's a Long Song', Jethro Tull

Have you ever had the urge to get up and just walk away from your life?

Oz Armstead MAY have fallen prey to this particular compulsion...but no one can say for sure. After a lunch with brother Tommy, Oz doesn't make it back to the office. But this was no pre-planned trip...his sportcoat lingers on his desk chair, and his wife Deborah and daughter Trinity eagerly await him with a birthday celebration at home...but he never arrives. After many years of heartache and strife among the members of this family, Deborah starts to revisit the moment she met the man she THOUGHT she knew better than anyone else. What she comes to realize is that their collective journey, from strife during the riots of the 1960s, the following Great Migration of the 1970s, and the shifts in their family life following the paths of Deborah's music career and other struggles may have led Oz to seek an escape...with no intention of return. Trinity has her own complicated feelings about her relationship with her father and is struggling to find her own path. Will a dark secret from the past tell Deborah and Trinity where Oz has gone...and has too much time passed for hope of a family reunion? Or could Oz TRULY be gone for good?

This novel is somewhat of a cross between historical fiction and literary fiction, and the perspective shifts between the three main characters (Oz, Deborah, and Trinity) as it moves along. We first go through the beginning stages of the relationship between Oz and Deborah, and in some ways, this was the most compelling part of the first half of the book. Deborah is also exploring a career in music, and although her journey becomes a bit cliche later in the story, there are some graphic and startling scenes along the way that held my interest and kept the plot moving.

However, once I reached the middle third of the book, I'll admit I started to struggle with my connection to the characters. Oz came off as very selfish and secretive, and despite Deborah's own problems, I started to honestly think she deserved better in a partner and was sort of grateful Oz was gone. The hardest character for me to connect with by FAR was Trinity, and in some ways, I almost wish she hadn't narrated at all. There was plenty of angst and conflict between Oz and Deborah to fill the narrative. Some of the historical events mentioned also could have been explored in a more detailed way, especially as I was unfamiliar with the specifics of the riots, etc. (outside of the basics) and I would have liked to learn more by the end of the book.

By the third act, I figured there was no hope for redemption and this was going to end up as a 3 star read...but Gray surprised me with a couple of plot points and I began to reconsider everything I thought I knew about this couple up until that point. Much like in life, you can't ALWAYS jump to conclusions, even those that seem obvious beyond measure. I didn't expect to feel so won over by story's end, but this was the sort of slow burn that creeps up on you and gets underneath your skin in ways that aren't immediately clear, but begin to become apparent over time.

A slow burn with an ending like this one is reminiscent of that last, perfect chord hanging in the air: you just don't want the magic to end.

3.5 stars, rounded up to 4
Profile Image for luce (that loser crying on the n° 2 bus).
1,438 reviews4,048 followers
July 22, 2023
why do authors always feel the need to redeem asshole ppl...anche no.

Being a fan of family sagas, interconnected narratives, and nonlinear timelines (eg The Travelers by Regina Porter, LaRose by Louise Erdrich, The Arsonists’ City by Hala Alyan, The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, Commonwealth by Ann Patchett) I was keen to read Anissa Gray's Life and Other Love Songs especially since it promised to revolve around family secrets, regret, and guilt. Alas, the novel ultimately focuses almost solely on Oz, at the expense of the other two supposedly major characters, Deborah and Trinity, who are reduced to the role of wife (who is ‘abandoned’) and daughter (whose choices are informed by her daddy issues). Trinity is given barely any page time, we aren’t given a proper glimpse into her childhood or teenage years but we are transported to her life as an adult which not so subtly echoes Oz’s own story (pushing away/hurting the ones you love and all that ‘relatable’ jazz) and is weighed down by her daddy issues. Deborah too is ultimately flattened, at first, into Oz’s object of desire, and later on, to the ‘broken’ woman who can’t get over her first love. Her own ambitions and passions are hinted at but only superficially.
Maybe I wouldn’t have minded the predictable turns taken by their storylines if say their relationship to Oz had been portrayed with depth, nuance even….but that’s not the case (of course, my take on this will inevitably differ from other readers’). Anyhow, serious topics, affecting one of these two characters, which include alcoholism, SA, and depression, are depicted in a way that ultimately places Y at the center stage. The novel is in fact not about Deborah or Trinity’s experiences but Oz’s trauma. His big secret leads him to make the poor choices he makes…Deborah’s own traumas are sidelined or made to seem ripples caused by Oz’s much more ‘important’ traumatic past. And I couldn’t help but feel as if the novel was going down the very tired and sexist route where women, who can cry whenever they feel like it, cannot possibly understand a man’s traumas or feelings, which are portrayed as more complex, to the point of being mythologised and mystified. The narrative itself uses Deborah’s own trauma to put Oz in a heroic light….never-mind that he later sabotages the people closest to them. His homophobia and possessiveness are made to seem natural consequences of his boyhood...maybe if we had been given snippets from his mother and brother’s pov we could have had a more encompassing view of his family situation and I would have felt a little bit more sympathetic towards him but as things stand I hated his guts…the story exonerates him from being truly held accountable for his shitty by going down the whole 'self-sacrifice=he was a good person all along' route. Dio mio. This was a chore to read. I was infuriated by Oz, by the way, the story deals with trauma, abuse, and addiction, and by the way the narrative ultimately condones his character’s behavior. YMMV so check out more positive reviews out if this book happens to be on your tbr.
Profile Image for Judy Collins.
2,683 reviews375 followers
April 11, 2023
Master storyteller Anissa Gray returns following The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls with her latest highly anticipated emotionally-charged multi-generational family saga, LIFE AND OTHER LOVE SONGS —a heartfelt story of a father's disappearance and a Black American family seeking answers.

Oz Armstead never returned to work after lunch with his younger brother Tommy.
He never made it home that evening to his wife, Deborah, and daughter, Trinity.
He never made it to his surprise 37th birthday party.

How did Oz disappear, and why?
The disappearance will impact the lives of many for years to come.
Deborah and Trinity try to piece together the life of the man they loved but did not honestly know.

From the Great Migration to 1970s Detroit and 1990s New York, we follow the hopes, triumphs, losses, and secrets that build up and tear apart an American family.

LIFE AND OTHER LOVE SONGS will draw you in with the beautiful writing and raw and relatable characters of this dysfunctional family of the late twentieth century with multiple POVs from past to present.

EMOTIONALLY COMPLEX, secrets of the past and truths are unraveled in this tragic story, full of emotion with highly charged topics: rape, poverty, racism, class, childhood trauma, Detroit riots (1967), the Vietnam war, mental health, AIDS, LGBT, infidelity, and alcoholism.

More character-driven than plot-driven—with superb storytelling and, ultimately, hope. I recommend it to those who enjoy multi-generational family dramas with mystery/intrigue—for fans of Tayari Jones.

Ideal for book clubs and further discussions.

Blog review posted @
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
Pub Date: April 11, 2023
My Rating: 4 Stars
April 2023-Must-Read Books
Profile Image for Kelly - readinginthe419 .
424 reviews34 followers
April 12, 2023
On his 37th birthday, Oz Armstead has lunch with his younger brother and never returns, leaving his wife Deborah and young daughter Trinity to wonder what happened. Through past and present timelines as well as the three POVs of the main characters, the story unwinds. We learn about how Deborah and Oz met and how their disparate families didn't approve of the match. We learn about Deborah's talent and ambition, halted at its peak. And finally, we learn about the tragedies of Oz's past.

I really enjoyed this family saga, especially set against the backdrop of Detroit and its turmoil of the 60s, 70s and 80s. I'm not quite old enough to remember much of the 1967 riots but I remember the "devil's night" fires that helped destroy a great city's reputation and infrastructure. The story also takes a good long look at LGBTQ rights - or lack thereof in the 80s - during the AIDS crisis and the toll of family dysfunction on mental health.

I loved Deborah's character and her ambition and willingness to rebuild a life for herself in the wake of Oz's disappearance. I didn't feel like we really knew as much about Trinity though. She seemed to just fill in some space between Oz and Deborah. And then there's Oz.

I really disliked Oz for what he did to derail Deborah's career and then how he sabotaged his brother's own doomed relationship. Learning Oz's backstory and his work following his disappearance helped redeem him a bit, knowing that therapy probably wasn't a realistic option for a Black man in the 1980s. The ending was beautiful if heartbreaking.

Gray's writing is emotionally complex in this character driven story. Although a bit slow at the start, I was drawn into the lives of this family and their extended families. I have not read Anissa Gray's Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls but I would like to go back and read it one day.

Many thanks to Berkely Publishing and NetGalley for the eARC of this multigenerational story.
293 reviews3 followers
December 20, 2022
Trinity and her mother plan a thirty-seventh birthday party for her father. But he doesn’t show. He disappears completely from their lives. Was he murdered? Was he abducted? Was he having an affair? Or did he simply walk out on them? The bulk of the novel spans the years between his disappearance when Trinity was a teenager through college and into adult life. It is told in multiple points of view, including that of the missing father.
The premise was good but I found I never really connected with any of the characters. Perhaps that’s because I never felt part of the scene. It unfolded like a newspaper story with more telling than showing. Plus the mystery was slow unfold. And when it did, it wasn’t all that satisfying. The burden of guilt the father carried with him in my opinion was for something that was not totally his fault. Still, the story was interesting enough to keep me reading. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Linda.
1,149 reviews74 followers
March 21, 2023
Our past will always be part of who we are. In this novel, all of the main characters have to deal with childhood trauma and mental health issues in trying to be good parents and adults. Looking for forgiveness from others but especially from ourselves becomes a lifelong search for some. The author did a great job developing her characters, giving them realistic emotions in the midst of the Great Migration, the Detroit riots, the war in Vietnam, the Aids epidemic, and the seemingly never ending fight for women’s equality.

Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for the ARC to read and review.
Profile Image for Monica B.
112 reviews12 followers
May 3, 2023
This was good. Oz was a selfish ass…
Profile Image for Zibby Owens.
Author 6 books17.2k followers
April 17, 2023
Life and Other Love Songs is a riveting African American family saga about a father’s sudden disappearance and how it unravels the lives of the family members he leaves behind. The father in this family, Oz Armstead, is a fairly ordinary guy, at least on the surface. He goes missing on his thirty-seventh birthday. He leaves behind his wife, Deborah, an aspiring singer who is also coming to terms with life as a suburban housewife, which is far outside anything she’d ever imagined for herself. They also have a daughter, Trinity, who they adore. For Deborah and Trinity, Oz’s disappearance upends everything. As the story moves forward and we come to learn with them the reasons how and why Oz disappears, it only gets more troubling.

The author did a good job setting the stage, so I fell in love with Oz and Deborah as a couple in the beginning. I felt very invested in the characters. And she takes us back and forth with perspective, which I love, so we can see how everybody feels. Life and Other Love Songs was complex and astonishingly moving.

To listen to my interview with the author, go to my podcast at: https://www.momsdonthavetimetoreadboo...

August 17, 2023
Thank god that is over!! I would have quit at 30% but powered through because of book club, and took Golnaz’s comment to heart: “read the whole thing so when you say you hate it you have the authority.” This was so boring, I don’t know what else to say.
Profile Image for Dawn Murray.
442 reviews17 followers
May 5, 2023
Breathlessly perfect to me. It was definitely a character-focused story, and I loved it. A slow, satisfying book. A review (from Ann Napolitano, author of Dear Edward, swoon) says it “builds beautifully.” Perfectly stated.
Profile Image for Dace ჯ.
121 reviews6 followers
March 3, 2023
I thought about life, the varied lengths of it and the many ways we can spend it.

This book is really about life and all the strange and messy ways it can be. We get to follow one ordinary black American family from early 1960s to early 1990s. Though the main premise of the book, Oz disappearing into thin air, was rather extraordinary, the family's story stood out to me as rather ordinary. The characters were alive and relatable. It's a lot about living with guilt and our inability to escape our past and our selves. It's also about all the weird impulses that drive our actions sometimes and affect not only our lives, but also the lives of other people around us. But it's also about resilience and love and being able to keep on keeping on and doing the second best thing and taking it from there. Overall it left me with a very positive feeling - Life is a gift and it's worth living through and through.

I liked the writing, the authentic language and the look from the black American perspective as I have mostly read white American authors. I appreciate the research put into it and I believe it's a great historical fiction on that particular time and space, featuring such issues as the Great Migration, 1967 riots in Detroit, Vietnam war, AIDS epidemics, and LGBT rights.

The jumping back and forth in time and between POVs was a bit disturbing. There were a few times I confused Deborah's and Trinity's stories - I was reading Deborah's POV and thinking it was Trinity's until something did not match. I'd have liked to read more about Trinity's life. I had a feeling we just had a little glimpse into her story.

*I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.*
Profile Image for Angie.
386 reviews25 followers
March 3, 2023
Life and Other Love Songs follows the various members and perspectives of the Armstead family from the 1960s to the present, from Alabama to Detroit to New York. The defining event for the family is the disappearance of Oz Armstead on his 37th birthday, leaving behind wife Deborah, daughter Trinity, and a brother behind. The story unfolds through the perspectives of all the family members, both before and after Oz's disappearance. Themes of addiction, living closeted, failed ambitions, and trust and commitment thread through the novel, but its major focus is on the weight of our past and generational trauma, and how we are the product of those who come before us and help shape those who come after us.
Profile Image for Leah Tyler.
331 reviews15 followers
May 11, 2023
See full review on Atlanta Journal-Constitution website:
“Life and Other Love Songs” by Atlanta author Anissa Gray is a heartfelt family saga centered around a Detroit family that excavates multiple layers of trauma — and the generational impact of abuse — as they struggle to claim their piece of the American Dream.

Spanning from the 1960s to the early ‘90s, with a dip back to Jim Crow Alabama, “Life and Other Love Songs” begins with a missing father and explores his family’s journey to reconcile his disappearance when they’re left grasping at secrets.

“Absence was not the same as death,” Trinity Armstead says in the book’s prologue while attending her father’s funeral in 1989 — seven years after he vanished without a trace on his 37th birthday. During that time Trinity and her mother Deborah exist in limbo not knowing what became of him. They can’t mourn and can’t move on. And they don’t know how to interpret his emotional distance in the months preceding his disappearance...

Profile Image for Lina.
30 reviews1 follower
August 14, 2023
Slow moving, not a lot of exciting character development, and a sad, sleepy plot. The writing kept me going (and my commitment to book club to finish it). Oz is a dick, no matter how you slice it, but the other characters weren’t particularly redemptive. Wouldn’t recommend.
Profile Image for Kristin.
306 reviews58 followers
April 3, 2023
Short Review: There aren't enough stars for this book.

"Just try to do the next right thing. Then go from there."

Long Review: This is one of those books that will stick with you for a long time. The writing is absolutely beautiful and the characters dig deep in your heart and don't let go. This book is about redemption, love, family, prejudice, and begs you to ask yourself how far is too far? Get it on your must read list now.
Profile Image for Lora Alatise.
3 reviews
June 13, 2023
It was so good until we reached the climax, until we found out how Oz disappeared. There were so many ways the author could’ve taken this. SO many. The writing style was nice though.
Profile Image for Karen Ashmore.
513 reviews9 followers
April 26, 2023
Family members move from Alabama to Detroit during the great migration to encounter Motown, the 1967 uprising, and the city’s gradual decline. Having never gotten over an extreme childhood trauma, Oz disappears, causing pain to his daughter Trinity, wife Deborah, brother Tommy, cousins and others. An emotional saga of the family dynamics impacted by his disappearance as a result of unspoken internalized grief and guilt.
Profile Image for Cynthia.
519 reviews
December 9, 2022
It was a slow start for me but as I read I grew to love the characters and their flaws even more. As a reader we don’t know until much later in the book what happened with Oz and Tommy and their father. The author makes us wait and draws out the suspense. Oz feeling terrible guilt about whatever it was that happened colors his life, his decisions and how he treats his family - Deborah and Trinity. The impact of Oz's treatment results in Deborah's insecurities and a serious drinking problem and his daughter's inability to make a commitment to the father of her child. What a complex man the father was, thinking he was doing the right thing and excusing his grievous mistakes by saying he never had a father so he was going to make sure he did it right, despite doing it so wrong.

Lots to process and think about with issues ranging from alcohol addiction, the impacts of infidelity, and a daughter who is searching for something she didn’t have in her father by making wrong choices. A lot of it takes place during a time when women in general and black women even more so we’re forced into roles and decisions dominated and dictated by men.

A good read and very emotional.
Profile Image for Brandie.
169 reviews
April 14, 2023
2.5⭐ rounded up

A family saga story, but unevenly done. This is told through the eyes of Deborah, Oz, and their daughter Trinity. Oz started out likeable, but I really didn't enjoy how his character was developed and some of his actions toward Deborah just didn't line up with how the character started out. Deborah and Trinity were great, though Trinity seemed a bit flat. Overall the way the story was laid out just didn't work for me and I struggled to finish this. I feel like including Tommy's viewpoint would have improved the story by giving a close insider view to Oz's past, and an outside view to the Oz/Deborah/Trinity family unit.
If you're looking for a generational saga I recommend Memphis, Homegoing, or (if you have some time) Love Songs of WEB Du Bois instead.
Profile Image for Lit_Vibrations (Sammesha D.).
138 reviews2 followers
August 11, 2023
We get this complex family saga that pulls you and it’s filled with so much drama and so many secrets. It’s told alternately between the past and present with 3 different POVs from Oz, Deborah, and Trinity. As the novel progresses we see how the characters lives were before and after Oz disappeared.

I really couldn’t get into Trinity’s chapters and didn’t care much for her character. I honestly felt the story would’ve been just as great without her input. Now between Oz and Deborah we get a lot of crazy truths, some background history, a lot of untold secrets, a series of betrayal and a vivid setting that adds to the atmosphere of the story.

It’s very layered and as you read, you’ll notice the book primarily stems around Oz. His presence and disappearance caused a major disruption in the life of all the characters. It was his selfish actions that nearly ruined Deborah and I blame him for her drinking problem. Instead of owning up to everything he’s done he abandons his family out of guilt. The author did a great job keeping what happened to Oz a mystery until nearly the end which really helped advance the plot. It was really interesting to see the internal and external struggles Oz had to deal with.

Overall, I loved the book it’s filled with so many memorable characters definitely sympathized with Oz’s brother Tommy. It flowed perfectly, was well-developed, and beautifully written. So much happened in this novel it’s a must you give it a read!!!
Profile Image for Coffee&Books.
1,002 reviews84 followers
April 10, 2023
Full transparency- I almost DNF'd this at 15% because of sexual assault. I feel like every author is using a traumatic experience to make a plot point and I'm tired of reading it. That stuff sticks in my mind and doesn't let go.
I soldiered on, but committed to setting it aside if I encountered another stop sign. Gratefully, I did not. The book seemed to crawl through the buildup chapters. When books are in parts, I really want to start at part two because that is where the story truly begins. Around 50% this book becomes "unputdownable" which isn't a word (!!!) but it's the best term I can use to describe it. I read until my eyes wouldn't stay open and then got up the next morning to finish it.
The ending was...heart wrenching. :( Look up a spoiler if you are a person who needs to be prepared for a not-so-happy ending.
The writing is fantastic- vivid and emotional and gritty. Anissa Gray can write her tail off.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Michael Robinson.
154 reviews1 follower
July 6, 2023
an interesting book but I did grow tired of the alternating/shifting timelines, and I think the book would have benefited greatly from a linear storytelling structure (I have this complaint with other books as well).
The characters were also not as compelling as they could have been, a POV from tommy could have been interesting as well.

Profile Image for Catherine.
321 reviews
May 27, 2023
It was so good, I couldn’t stop reading. Such riveting story about an African American family that takes place right across river in Detroit and spans the years 1964 to 1991. Lots of secrets and WTH moments.
Profile Image for Angela S.
90 reviews
August 12, 2023
I felt interested to keep reading for the big reveal, something to drop but it never happened for me. Hated the ending and wouldn’t recommend this book.
9,966 reviews122 followers
April 4, 2023
Ozro, his wife Deborah and their daughter Trinity tell this story of a man's disappearance, the reasons behind it and the lingering effects for those left behind. Orzo is the centerpiece of sorts because he's the one who left on his 37th birthday but it is perhaps Trinity who will be the one struggling the most. I suspect other daughters of fathers who walked away will look to this for commonalities but Gray has created unique characters and avoided trope-s. Each person has their say and if I have one quibble it's that Deborah and Trinity sound too similar. That said, this pulled me in and kept me reading. Thanks to Netgalley for the ArC. Good storytelling makes for a good read.
Profile Image for Nidhi Shrivastava.
173 reviews6 followers
April 14, 2023
In this heartfelt novel, Anissa Gray shares with her readers a powerful story of loss, reconciliation, grief, and family dynamics. At the heart of the novel is the mysterious disappearance of Ozro Armstead on his thirty-seventh birthday while his wife, Deborah and Trinity prepared him a surprise celebrations. Instead, he never returns home and even leaves his briefcase at his office.

The mother and daughter find meaningful ways to survive this loss, and search for him. This gripping narrative that starts from the Great Migration to 1970s Detroit and 1990s New York, as we follow the trials and tribulations of this endearing family. As the story unfolded, the ending left me unsettled but I felt for both Deborah and Trinity, as they tried to make sense of the void that Ozro’s disappearance left them - not knowing whether your loved one is alive or dead can be a scary prospect. It’s an important story that needs to be told.

Thank you @letstalkbookspromo and @berkelypub for the gifted e-arc of the novel.
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