Member Reviews

I must admit that I almost DNF'ed this book right when I started reading. I'm glad that I kept on because this was an amazing read, and I can certainly say that this novel is unlike any other I've read. It is set in Barbados and it is an exploration of class and the living conditions of the working class. There is also commentary in terms of colorism, which I think is an issue that is not talked about as much or that is overshadowed by conversations on racism and put in the same category. I think this was a brilliant piece of contemporary fiction and I'm sure I'll keep hearing about it in the future.

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Okay, this was a very interesting book. I did like the way this book talked about how sometimes the diaspora wants to help and it can be a miss, but at the same time it talks about how people treat the diaspora too. Like I really thought it was an interesting book. I liked how it touched on the politics. I liked this so much. The pacing was great.

I got an e-arc of this book on NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Sabre, a successful New York photographer, returns to Barbados to reconnect with her roots. Initially embraced by her wealthy aunt in high society, she feels a restlessness and decides to champion the rights of household staff. Her crusade for worker's rights takes unexpected turns, turning her into a polarizing figure. The story, told from various perspectives, unfolds gradually but remains compelling despite its pace.

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Thank you NetGalley for he arc! I was intrigued by the premise of this story about this character going back home and the stories of various family dynamics. I think the writing was fine but the story more so slow for me that it made it hard for me to connect with the story and the overall plot. I found myself bored. With that being said I think I would still give this author another chance. This particular story just didn't engage me.

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Lovely prose, but the actual story felt lacking. This one just didn't land for me. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity!

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Lush setting and gorgeous descriptions but I wish it had been fleshed out a little more. Some of the characters are very 2-dimensional and I didn’t find much of a connection with any of them. I wanted more.

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Sabre is a famous photographer but decides to leave New York for her roots in the Barbados. She isn't quite sure what to do with her life and is trying to reset. She stays with her Aunt Aggie, and finds her cause after she sees her aunt yell at her maid. This sets of chaos across the island.

I liked the setting here and the characters for the most part. What I didn't like about the book is that I felt Davis was overly verbose in a lot of places that did not need it. I also did not like that we shifted between multiple characters' pov within one chapter. I think if we had just stuck to maybe two POVs it would have been easier to enjoy.

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The premise is fun, the setting is lush, and there are a lot of hilarious moments. While the writing is strong, I felt the pacing was off. In any case, would recommend to anyone looking for a satirical look at class, privilege, and activism.

Thank you to Little A and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a copy.

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Thank you NetGalley for the ARC. I had a hard time getting into this book and wanted to like it more than I did. This book was very slow and told from several different POVs. Some of the POVs were better than others. The best part was learning about the Bajan culture.

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Photographer Sabre Cumberbatch needs a change of air, away from the New York crowd who wants to somehow hail her as the new Basquiat. She decides to go back home, to Barbados, where she sets on finding her true purpose.

When Sabre witnesses her aunt's ruthlessness towards some workers, she decides her newfound purpose is to liberate the oppressed Bajan workers. This sets drama in Sabre's family but also all across the island as Sabre's actions grow a larger impact... For the best and the worst.

Let me liberate you leads the reader to think about the consequences of performative activism. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" and in Sabre's case, this couldn't be more true.

This book reminded me that ego doesn't have a place in activism and how important it is to listen to the people who are most affected by what is being tackled before taking action. It also reminded me of how important it is to respect the initiatives already established and to always educate myself before speaking on something.

Other than those important reminders this book also offers a very funny story with really engaging characters. I really grew attached to them, especially Isilda, because they feel extremely human. These are characters that aren't completely good and they make lots of mistakes but it was endearing to see them grow, learn and try to fix their mistakes throughout the story.

The environment in this book was also really lovely. The story unfolds in Barbados, full of color and life. The author did an amazing job at describing the island and it was such a pleasure to visualize. I also loved reading about Isilda's baking, that part made me crave homemade baked goods so much!

This book is well written, though I feel like there was simultaneously a lot and not enough happening at once. We also get a glimpse into a lot of characters' lives and I wish there had been a little more balance in the attention given to them. I really wish we could've spent more time with Ian, Delphine and Lamar, for example.

But overall, this was an enjoyable read and I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for something funny but also reflective.

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Absolutely loved this book. I would recommend it to all my favourite people. Amazing storyline, humour, and heart. Read this asap.

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This was a really interesting concept. And I was invested in the use of Barbados in this book. It had a strong concept and had everything I was looking for I love the differences between New York and Barbados. The characters were everything that I was hoping for and worked with the story being told. Andie Davis does a great job in writing this and leaving me wanting more, It was a strong concept overall.

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Who doesn’t question themselves as an artist at least in books! This book had a lot of fun characters and a lot of interesting places to explore from the Caribbean to art in New York. I really felt like I was there. I felt like the book was going to be darker than it ended up being. This was a plus I was worried about our characters, but I thought they told everyone story and a realistic and charming way

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I found "Love and Liars" to be a challenging read, despite my initial hopes for enjoyment. The novel's pacing was inconsistent, oscillating between verbose descriptions and abrupt, superficial moments, which made it difficult to engage with the narrative. The main character's personality felt elusive at times, and I struggled to understand the intentions and actions of both the protagonist and supporting characters throughout the story.

While I acknowledge the quality of the writing and the potential appeal of the novel's slower pace and detailed satire for some readers, I personally struggled to connect with it. Additionally, I felt a significant disconnect between the book's marketing and my actual reading experience, which may have contributed to my difficulty in engaging with the story.

Despite these challenges, I appreciated the author's evident love and respect for Bajan culture and customs, which were skillfully woven into the writing through authentic dialogue and vivid descriptions. The premise of the novel held promise, and the themes it tackled were important, but ultimately, the execution fell short.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!

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For such a relatively short book, I am shocked by the amount of time and effort it took me to get through this. This took me close to double the time to read than it would typically take me to read a book 200+ pages longer, which is even more surprising considering that even though this is a satire, it isn't really inherently a dense read.

The writing is obviously good, and honestly very funny in a lot of places. That being said, the book also felt VERY overwritten. I found it really tough to track events and characters as things jumped from chapter to chapter, and there were many places where I got so lost in long, meandering descriptions of different things that I had to re-read previous pages just to try to remind myself of the plot.

I think there will absolutely be an audience for this book that enjoys a slower pace and the more detailed writing that serves the larger satire here, but sadly, that audience was just not me. I also personally found there to be a pretty significant disconnect between how this book is being marketed/described - implied (at least to me!) to be a lighter read about the absurdity of savior complexes and the complications that result from them - and the experience of actually reading this, which required an enormous amount of effort and attention. I think it's entirely possible that this disconnect was part of why I struggled so much with the book - it just wasn't at all the experience I was anticipating.

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The blurb of this book is what made me want to read it and I definitely wasn't disappointed.
Delightfully funny and a page turner this book will absolutely entertain you from every page.
I finish this one in one afternoon also.
Aggie was a piece of work that was fir certain!
Her niece was my favorite character laugh out loud.
If love long savory novels then this one is for you! I myself loved it.
Lots going on in this story.
It's also this author's debut novel.
5 stars for this entertaining novel. I recommend.
My thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this book
I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own

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The story flowed well and the characters were well developed. I recommend this book and look forward to more from this author.


****Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an ARC in exchange for my honest review****

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Thank you NetGalley and Little A for the ARC!

I had a hard time getting through this novel and I really wanted to enjoy it more than I did.
It was both very slow and very fast at the same time - highly verbose descriptions and plot points that jump from here to there that becomes hard to follow, to sudden almost superficial moments that drag on and are awkward to read. The main character’s personality was hard to make out at times and there were parts throughout the narrative where I truly couldn’t follow the intentions or actions of not only the main character, but the supporting ones as well.
I did enjoy the obvious care and love for Bajan culture and customs that went into the writing of this book and into the written dialogue and descriptions. The premise was intriguing and the topics important, but it just missed the mark.

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Engaging, entertaining, and timely. A recommended purchase for collections women's fiction is popular.

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Please see the below review. I plan to post this to my blog and Instagram closer to the publication date (likely mid-June 2024). I would love a physical copy for further annotations shipped to:

2613 Wise Street, Richmond VA 23225

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“Who said anything about being mad? I’m just trying to find people to help,”

Should the privileged use their large platforms to speak out on social ills if they have no ties to the social movement? Let Me Liberate You by Andie Davis uses family dynamics and dark humor to examine this conundrum.

Critiques of performative activism, defined as activism that is done to increase one's social capital rather than because of one's devotion to a cause, began to appear in the news, on social media, and in contemporary fiction. Kiley Reid’s electric debut Such a Fun Age and RF Kuang’s Yellowface both involve white characters who use the suffering of a non-white character for their social gain.

When I read the summary of Let Me Liberate You, I was intrigued. How would Davis critique performative activism when the main characters have the same racial and ethnic background? Her answer is a nuanced and dynamic story about a family fractured by class and respectability politics, and a woman’s attempt to offer support from her lofty place in society.

At the center of Let Me Liberate You is Sabre, a newly famous artist, was born in Barbados before a mysterious family conflict causes her mother to leave Barbados for New York. Sabre’s maternal aunt, Addie, remains in Barbados and marries a wealthy businessman. Addie becomes a figure in Barbados society, known for her beautiful home, lavish parties, and harsh treatment of service professionals.

Sabre, weary of inappropriate comparisons to Basquiat and pressures from her mother to capitalize on her notoriety, flees to Barbados on the dime of a brand that wants to woo her for six months in search of ‘home’. When a caterer at Sabre’s own welcome party makes a simple mistake, Sabre watches in horror as her aunt Addie speaks to the caterer in a dehumanizing manner.

Feeling empowered, Sabre begins a crusade on the island nation in an attempt to create better conditions for workers. She pursues Isilda, a domestic worker who has been employed by Aggie and her family for years. Though Isilda has her own problems with Aggie, she is reluctant to join Sabre’s cause. To her, Sabre’s efforts are nothing more than American rabble rousing.

Sabre’s movement begins to grow and is named the Cumberbatch initiative. Does it matter that she has to fabricate stories of human suffering? The anti-trafficking non-profit doesn’t seem to think so, not even when locals question the authenticity of the stories. The group calls themselves equality-enforcers and travel the island nation in matching shirts, looking for people to save. The spectacle captures the entire country.

Objectively, awareness is a powerful tool for a social movement, but how could meaningful change occur if solidarity remained confined to those with little material interest in the lives of subjugated people?

Davis’s strength lies in the absolute absurdity of Sabre’s actions. As the artist treks around Barbados, literally breaking into backyards to take pictures and create narratives that fit her agenda of stopping exploitation, she fails to even talk to those she hopes to save.

The UN representatives are equally useless, opting to create power struggles with NGOs and determining the ‘correct’ victim from an air conditioned office. The scenes are absolutely hilarious if not heartbreakingly inefficient.

Sabre finds the obvious joy in public spaces disappointing (why aren’t the oppressed more sad??) and openly complains about how the people’s happiness seems disingenuous. She fantasizes about being on T-shirts and becoming a famous revolutionary (emphasis on famous).

In addition to Sabre and Addie, Lisette, Sabre’s cousin and Addie’s daughter, struggles to find her place beneath her mother’s reputation. The poster child of imposter syndrome, Lisette is upper management in the Barbadian government, a job that appears to have been invented for her after her unremarkable time at university. Unlike Sabre, Lisette felt comfortable in the status quo. She was happy to create initiatives at work, though her only one to date was a scheme to write fake reviews on travel websites to boost tourism.

The four women are a part of a vibrant cast that examines class, desirability, and exploitation. Their distinct views on life are tested when Isilda learns that the Ministry of housing plans to force her neighborhood out of their homes to build a new stadium. As they each deal with the fallout of this news, they also have to contend with a “reconciliation day” benefit concert organized by Sabre.

What struck me about Davis’s debut was the frankness with which she examined each character’s hypocrisies. Her commentary was sharp, funny, and fresh. Let Me Liberate You is a much needed addition to contemporary fiction, and likely one of the most fun books I’ve read.

Thank you so much to Little A Publishing and NetGalley for this eARC.

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