Title: The Deep
Author: Rivers Solomon with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, & Jonathan Snipes
Publisher: Gallery Books – Simon and Schuster imprint
Read: November 2019
Length: 4 hours and 1 minute
Rating: 4 Caffeinated Stars
Trigger Warnings: Self harm, suicidal thoughts, mention of slavery & war
Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.
Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.
Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.
I received The Deep by Rivers Solomon from Libro.FM’s influencer’s program in November. I have to admit; I wasn’t quite sure if I was in the right headspace for this book. I knew from the description that this book was going to stretch me in ways I couldn’t even explain. I decided that though I knew this book would make me uncomfortable, it was something that I wanted to push myself to read. I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort bubble and read this book.
Daveed Diggs perfectly narrated the audiobook, which is no surprise since he is the co-writer of the song this book is based on. I could feel the emotions through his voice. He was the perfect narrator for this book and genuinely brought this book to life.
The plot was unique and horrifying. I wanted to scream, cry, and throw things. Yetu was a fascinating main character, and I couldn’t help but cry for her throughout the book. I loved the journey she takes, and I was on the edge of my seat while reading this book. The writing was disconcerting at times, and I loved how intentional it was. This was a short novel, but it packed a punch. Everything was written in a way to make you a little uncomfortable. There was no use of “I,” “Me,” and the collective “we” was used instead. This brought everything into a new realm and set everything apart.
All in all, this was a solid book that took me a while to fully comprehend my thoughts. Even now, I know this review won’t do full justice to my thoughts. This book will make you think. It will move you in ways you didn’t know possible, and it will make you uncomfortable in a way that will stretch you. I recommend picking this book up.
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