The Secret Lives of Church Ladies - Deesha Philyaw

Over nine stories the beliefs, sexuality and morality of Black women are explored in a raw, and emotional narrative. Pushkin Press released The Secret Lives of Church Ladies on 5th May and I was lucky enough to be included on the blog tour with an advanced copy to read! The other bloggers on this tour are already giving such amazing reviews, you should check them out!

Philyaw's approach to telling the intimate details of a seemingly perfect selection of ladies was eye-opening in a way I haven't read for a long time. Each main character felt realistic in their emotions and personalities, each new story dropped the reader into a similar world but with widely different atmospheres. It wasn't a struggle to connect to each new character and that is a testament to Philyaw's immersive writing style. Also, I'm not sure if it was intentional but I was subconsciously making connections between the characters in different stories, it didn't take away from either story but it added an additional aspect of genius.

I have been adopting "read first, research later" approach to my reads lately, so, other than what Pushkin had already told me about this in the tour welcome email I went in blind and I definitely recommend you do the same! By not having a broad understanding of where this set of stories came from I was pleasantly surprised by how the book as a whole drew me into the world of Church Ladies. It's the classic case of picture perfect characters having a secret lifestyle at home which is immediately fascinating to me and I'm sure will be for many other readers.

For something easy to pick up and immerse yourself in, I don't think you'll find something better than The Secret Lives of Church Ladies. I couldn't pick anything that wouldn't make this a worthwhile read for anyone unless they have terrible opinions on how people live their lives.

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