Momma Leighellen's Book Review

  • Book: Maame
  • Author: Jessica George
  • Publisher: St Martins
  • Pub Date: Jan 31, 2023

“When someone doesn’t understand you, how you are, why you are, you will find yourself fighting losing battles every day.” Maddie, in Maame.

This little book snuck up on me and was such a refreshing surprise.  Maame reminded me a bit of Queenie, in that it follows a young woman coming into her own later in life, finding her voice, and learning who she is and what she stands for – all in the face of adversity, racism, and grief.


The story follows a young British Ghanian woman named Maddie, who is the sole caregiver of her father, who has Parkinson’s disease.  Her unconventional family life leads her to keep much of what she goes through inside.  When tragedy strikes, she is unsure how to sort through the changes and move forward. She tries a new job, a new boyfriend, a new living arrangement. 

It is a refreshingly honest look at identity.  What makes us who we are?  Is it our history? Or our job? Maybe our friendships? Or romantic entanglements? As Maddie tries to become a “new” version of herself she has to reconciled with the old one. 

“I have spent the entirety of my professional life in predominately white spaces. My instinct has been to shrink myself, make sure I’m not too loud, talk only about subjects I feel well versed in. Everyone talks about the importance of standing out but never the benefits of fitting in.” Maddie, in Maame.

This is a deep look at loss and longing.  The alienation of being the only black person on the job.  The loneliness of no-one knowing the truth about her home life.  Her desire to belong. 

Yet the deep moments are balanced with lighthearted ones. I loved the way she has a little “Lizzy McGuire” voice in her head helping her navigate her life changes.  I enjoyed her “new Maddie bucketlist” and thought the way she googled “how to have sex” hilarious and heartwarming!

“Sometimes I think of love as pieces of one heart.  When I love someone, I break off a piece and give it to them.”

This is a beautiful look at the grief and resilience of one woman. And what happens when you wipe away an old identity and try again. This book is not to be missed! I highly recommend the audio from @libro. 

#maamebook #jessicageorgeauthor #readwithjenna

What’s next?

You can pick up a copy of the book here.  To read more of my reviews, check out the rest of my blog.  To enter the latest giveaways and see what I’m currently reading, head to my Bookstagram account in IG.  And to listen to me chat all things bookish and share my latest reviews, head to my Booktube Channel. To try the book on audio go here!


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