Review: The Girl at the Back of the Bus
Bookouture Publishing
February 2021
Historical Fiction
REVIEWER: Wayne Jordan  RATING:  A+
REVIEW: From the very first page of Suzette Harrison’s THE GIRL AT THE BACK OF THE  BUS, I knew I was going to be in for a rare treat. Ms. Harrison is a gifted storyteller, and her previous books are all evidence of her immense talent. Her current story, releasing in this year’s Black History Month, is a moving tale that will leave readers breathless at its bold honesty, its  heartbreaking angst and its inspiring triumph.

The story takes place in two time periods (1955 and the present day) with two heroines who are linked by the blood which flows through their veins. Mattie Banks, at sixteen, finds herself pregnant, ashamed and alone. She has not only let herself down, but she has disappointed her mother. However, it is her encounter with 'Miz Rosa' who refuses to give up her seat in a Montgomery bus which plays a pivotal role in the choices Maddie makes that night; choices which impact her life, her unborn child and their futures.

From 1955, the author time-travels to the present and we meet Ashlee Turner who, in her workplace, is forced to confront the racism and sexism which is still present sixty-five years later. On returning to her hometown, Ashlee realizes that much has changed and when she discovers a stack of letters from her grandmother, she knows that the choices she has to make will affect her already grieving family. But I will reveal no secrets here because this beautifully written story is yours to discover and enjoy.

Everything about this story works; especially, the movement between different time periods. Instead of resulting in a disjointed narrative, I found myself eagerly awaiting each chapter as bit by bit of each woman’s story. The connection between the two women and the hidden secrets revealed all play important parts in what makes this story so special. Ms. Harrison’s forte is her ability to create memorable characters, main and secondary. Mattie, her mother and grandmother are accurately painted, and at times, the harshness of their journeys is heartbreaking.

THE GIRL AT THE BACK OF THE BUS is Suzette Harrison at her finest. This book is listed as one of the most anticipated books for 2021. Ms. Harrison definitely delivers.

8th February 2021 |