By Rivers Solomon
The Deep is a small novella that packs quite a punch. It explores ideas of generational grief and connection through the lens of a mermaid who holds the memories of her entire people.
Yetu and her under-water dwelling people are descendance of African slave women tossed overboard by slavers, and Yetu’s duty is to hold onto all the memories of her people. She remembers everything, from the happiest of moments to the most traumatizing and must hold onto those memories so that her people do not forget their history. Every couple of years she will share those memories with her people before taking them back upon herself to hold onto until the next remembrance. But when the memories become too much for her, she leaves the memories with her people and flees to the surface, where her first ancestors lived.
Solomon’s writing is so beautiful and poetic that I now feel obligated to read all of their works. They have created a story that makes you think and feel so deeply that you’ll wish you could read it all over again for the first time — I certainly do. This novella is spectacular. Running at only 176 pages, it manages to touch on so much with so few words. I cannot recommend this book enough!
Reviewed by Taryn, Library Assistant