This is a clear-eyed unflinching look at the exhausting, demoralising, seemingly endless challenges facing black women in their daily lives, simply because they are black women. From school and family, through University then out into the working world, the weight of expectation - both good and bad - is huge. There are coping strategies, humour, irritation, resignation and some anger in every chapter, but I never felt that the authors strayed into pathos or self-pity.
The writing is effective and engaging, drawing the reader in immediately. There are plentiful anecdotes, quotes and interviews from a range of women which add to the chatty readability of the book.
At no point did I feel harangued or lectured, even when picking up on one or two "microaggressions" I have carried out in the past: unthinkingly commenting on a black colleague's new hairstyle where I wouldn't have mentioned a white colleague's, for example. I will not do so again, and was left feeling retrospectively mortified for my own ignorance.
A minor irritation - the authors refer back and forth to other chapters and sections as if they are presenting a lecture, or writing a dissertation, which I found distracting. It felt rather self-conscious and forced, and interrupted the flow of the narrative for me.
That aside, it is a well-written book which provides insight into a set of experiences I have never shared, and given me a lot to think about for the future.
Anyone who is remotely interested in feminism, society and race (ie pretty much anyone, I hope!) ought to read this.