My younger sister and I are reading books together this year. Our first book was Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting or Self-Involved Parents by Lindsay C. Gibson, PsyD. Our second book was We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza.
The book We Are Not Like Them centers around the friendship of Leroya “Riley” Wilson and Jenny “Jen” Murphy who affectionately call each other Puff (Riley) and Pony (Jen). Riley, a Black woman, is a reporter, and Jen, a white woman, is pregnant and married to a cop.
Their relationship is put to the test when Jen’s husband and his partner are involved in a shooting of a Black teenager.
The chapters alternate between Riley and Jen. The authors Pride, who is Black, and Piazza, who is white, shared that writing this novel together put both their personal friendship and professional relationship to the test. However, it allowed them to have conversations about race and race in America.
What my sister and I most enjoyed about this book was the way the book really focused on their friendship. Their friendship was more like a sistership. They had to figure out if their bond would survive Riley’s obligations to cover the news despite her friend’s husband being one of the top news stories and the impact on Jen being pregnant while her husband’s future was uncertain.
This book gives readers an opportunity to see how people who love each other navigate sensitive topics and situations without making readers feel as if the authors are trying to push any certain viewpoints about race upon the reader.
Half of my closest friends in my inner circle are white women. As a Black woman reading this book, I appreciated the nuance of Riley and Jen’s conversations. Some conversations reminded me of the conversations I have had with my closest white female friends.
I do not always like books with dueling narrators, but having two authors helped make the two characters distinctly different and made the reader feel like Riley and Jen were unique characters.
I recommend people read this book with a friend because it will definitely help ease the transition into critical conversations about race in America.