One of our recommended books is Black Girls Must Die Exhausted by Jayne Allen

BLACK GIRLS MUST DIE EXHAUSTED

A Novel


The first novel in a captivating three-book series about modern womanhood, in which a young Black woman must rely on courage, laughter, and love—and the support of her two longtime friends—to overcome an unexpected setback that threatens the most precious thing she’s ever wanted.

Tabitha Walker is a black woman with a plan to “have it all.” At 33 years old, the checklist for the life of her dreams is well underway. Education? Check. Good job? Check. Down payment for a nice house? Check. Dating marriage material? Check, check, and check. With a coveted position as a local news reporter,

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The first novel in a captivating three-book series about modern womanhood, in which a young Black woman must rely on courage, laughter, and love—and the support of her two longtime friends—to overcome an unexpected setback that threatens the most precious thing she’s ever wanted.

Tabitha Walker is a black woman with a plan to “have it all.” At 33 years old, the checklist for the life of her dreams is well underway. Education? Check. Good job? Check. Down payment for a nice house? Check. Dating marriage material? Check, check, and check. With a coveted position as a local news reporter, a “paper-perfect” boyfriend, and even a standing Saturday morning appointment with a reliable hairstylist, everything seems to be falling into place.

Then Tabby receives an unexpected diagnosis that brings her picture-perfect life crashing down, jeopardizing the keystone she took for granted: having children. With her dreams at risk of falling through the cracks of her checklist, suddenly she is faced with an impossible choice between her career, her dream home, and a family of her own.

With the help of her best friends, the irreverent and headstrong Laila and Alexis, the mom jeans-wearing former “Sexy Lexi,” and the generational wisdom of her grandmother and the nonagenarian firebrand Ms. Gretchen, Tabby explores the reaches of modern medicine and tests the limits of her relationships, hoping to salvage the future she always dreamed of. But the fight is all consuming, demanding a steep price that forces an honest reckoning for nearly everyone in her life. As Tabby soon learns, her grandmother’s age-old adage just might still be true: Black girls must die exhausted.

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  • Harper Perennial
  • Paperback
  • September 2021
  • 368 Pages
  • 9780063137905

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$16.99

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About Jayne Allen

Jayne Allen is the author of Black Girls Must Die ExhaustedJayne Allen is the pen name of Jaunique Sealey, a graduate of Duke University and Harvard Law School. An avid traveler, she speaks three languages and has visited five continents. Drawing from her unique experiences as an attorney and entrepreneur, she crafts transcultural stories that touch upon contemporary women’s issues such as workplace and career dynamics, race, fertility, modern relationships and mental health awareness. Her writing echoes her desire to bring both multiculturalism and multidimensionality to a rich and colorful cast of characters inspired by the magic uncovered in everyday life. Black Girls Must Die Exhausted is her first novel which she calls “the epitaph of my 30s.” A proud native of Detroit, she currently lives in Los Angeles.

Praise

“An impossible-to-put-down novel chronicling Tabitha Walker’s extremely relatable journey through relationships – with men, friends, family, and most importantly, herself. With finely-drawn characterizations and touching life lessons, Jayne Allen paints Tabitha’s “adulting” journey with heartbreaking, heartwarming strokes that stayed with me long after I’d finished reading. (On a personal note, as a Black woman who struggles with infertility, it’s so refreshing that Allen sheds a light on this rarely-told story.) Sign me up for the trilogy!”  – Tia Williams, award-winning author of The Perfect Find and Seven Days in June

Black Girls Must Die Exhausted is a smart, sophisticated portrait of three very different women, united in both their struggles and their joy. Allen seamlessly blends sharp social commentary with a heartwarming story of friendship between irresistibly complex characters. A fresh, punch-packing debut from an author to watch!” – Emily Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read

“A a story for our times, dealing with urgent, important themes in an exhilaratingly entertaining way. Tabby, the gutsy heroine navigating her way through the challenges of life for a thirty-something, Black professional woman, is a wonderfully relatable character who had me rooting for her from the very first page. The choices Tabby has to make will resonate with anyone trying to stay true to themselves in balancing their personal and career aspirations. I was beguiled by the warmth and humanity that shine throughout the book, particularly in Tabby’s relationships with her beloved grandmother and her spirited friends. Jayne Allen has created a fresh, modern and uplifting book that left me wanting more. I adored it.” – Sarah Haywood, New York Times bestselling author of The Cactus

Discussion Questions

1. a) I started writing Black Girls Must Die Exhausted in early 2017 amid an environment where the discussion of race in America had been very much pushed to the forefront of our collective consciousness. One of the challenges that I presented to myself in writing was to tell a story that included the layer of a realistic depiction of the contemporary day-to-day experience of race in America from a Black female perspective. For Tabby, one aspect of her experience of race is embodied in the fear experienced when pulled over by Officer Mallory. What did you think of her reaction? What did you think of Officer Mallory’s reaction?

b) Were there any other experiences of race that you identified with in the book? Which ones? Have you ever thought about how you personally experience race? Are there examples that you can cite?

c) Marc tells Tabby that she should not feel threatened when approached by a police
officer because she is a woman, rather than a man. Do you agree with Marc? Why or
why not?

2. Part of the beauty of Tabby and Granny Tab’s relationship is the closeness and strength of love that they share that allows them to talk about anything. Have you ever been asked what it feels like to experience life from your racial perspective? Have you ever asked anyone else? What do you imagine you’d say? What do you imagine someone else of a different race would say? Would what you say change based on the nature of your relationship with the person in discussion with you?

3. Tabby, Lexi, and Laila spend time over drinks discussing some of their experiences having to do with the intersectionality of race and gender. They seem to agree on feeling that they have to choose one over the other, and protections and willingness to discuss different views fail most often when the topic of race comes up more than gender. What are your thoughts?

4. Initially, in her desperation to have a child, Tabby goes down a path of questionable decision-making. What if she had become pregnant with Marc’s “NBA baby”? What do you think Marc would have done?

5. Does your employer’s healthcare plan cover fertility treatments like IVF? Do you think that it should or should not?

6. What kind of similarities do you identify between Marc and Tabby’s father? Do you think that any aspect of Tabby’s relationship with her father was reflected in her relationship with Marc? If so, how? Do you identify any similarities between Rob and Marc?

7. Which friend are you—Tabby, Lexi, or Laila? Are you a Granny Tab or a Ms. Gretchen?

8. In the course of their breakup, Marc attempts to explain himself to Tabby. What do you think about Tabby’s reaction? Would you have reacted similarly or differently? If differently, how so?

9. The role of friendship/communion is a theme woven throughout the story. What do you rely on your friends for?

10. Tabby has some challenges relating authentically as herself to her work environment. Ultimately, she finds a way to make her unique perspective work to her advantage. Can you relate? How so? Are there similar opportunities for you in your own work environment?

11. Tabby and her friends often find themselves with a drink in hand, both to celebrate and to commiserate or contemplate. What are some ways that you choose to celebrate?

12. By the end of the book, the title Black Girls Must Die Exhausted has taken on several meanings. What has it meant for you throughout your experience? When you first came across the book? While reading? At the end? What is your takeaway from the novel?