Author note: There will be spoilers. Sorry not sorry.
I found this book through a recommendation through the Facebook group Black Girls Read Too. When I heard the title, I intrigued. I had heard of Tiffany D. Jackson through the magic of Twitter and Facebook. I had also heard that the book was emotional draining. I heard it could be a heavy read. But, the reviews I heard? It was those reviews which compelled me to read it. It is this book which allows me to add it to the growing Firestarter Bookshelf.
There is no secret about the crisis of missing Black women and girls. There is no secret about how Black folk dice up and segregate among ourselves. I know that as a writer, we have to tell the world’s dirty secrets in the best way talent dictates.
This story folds in on itself as we learn about Claudia Coleman and her best friend in the world, Monday Charles. Monday with her siblings August, Friday and April. Tiffany D. Jackson weaves a story so potent, I had to take breaks to get snacks and to breathe! As a mother, I could not understand the callous nature of Monday’s mother. I remember being the bullied girl wanting something for myself, friends that understood me and my heart ached as Claudia looked for her friend.
As a mother whom is trying to fight the world, and protect the children I pray will change it, I have been Claudia’s mother. I have been in the offices of people whom don’t know my children and have to be Mama Bear to protect them from the devouring world. With Monday missing, Claudia spirals into depression, continued anxiety–with her reading struggles and dyslexia finally known. The killer part? Teachers assumed that because of Claudia’s healthy two parent home she was the one whom was gifted–when it was Monday the whole time. It was Monday who was the gifted writer, and student, with no support from her own mother which would help her move through the world.
This story reminded me of just how powerful friendships between Black girls are! It reminded me of just how needed they are, how dynamic, and how they are able to shift as life dictates. It was so marvelous to see the friendship between Monday and Claudia, and how important one was to the other.
The story made me think about all the little Black girls I knew growing up: those whom I had gone to class with, the ones whom were on milk cartons. I thought about how the world just kept going as their families tried to move on without them. Going to work. Paying bills. Buying groceries. Getting gas. Catching buses. All with their children missing or never coming home to the messy rooms they left.
Monday’s Not Coming is excellent, and it has taken everything in me to not spoil the ending. But know this, the ending is not for the faint. It is not the expected. And it is not as tidy as you would think. You are going to have to earn the ending, Torches. You are going to have to go through the river of emotions to get to the end of this one! I promise you, this is not a book you need to read without being able to process this with other people! I promise it is!
Grab the book. Ride with Tiffany D. Jackson until the end of the book. You need this level of magic in your bookcase. You won’t be sorry!
[image from Google]