Set in Philadelphia, the lifelong friendship of Jen and Riley is tested like never before. Jen, a white woman, is married to Kevin, a local policeman. She had struggled to get pregnant and is now happily expecting. Money has been an issue for the couple so Riley, who is Black and a TV news reporter on the rise, helped pay for her IVF treatments. When Kevin and his partner shoot Justin, a Black teenager, in a case of mistaken identity, it deeply affects Riley, who is assigned to cover the story for her station. This could pave the way for an anchor position for Riley yet it puts a strain on her friendship with Jen, who trying to deal with her own feelings about Kevin’s actions as well as the health of her unborn child. Both women have to deal with this life-changing event all while hoping their friendship won’t be forever fractured.
Riley’s beloved grandmother tells her, “I want the world to be better, baby girl. We gotta do better.” And that is the main point of this emotional book which deals with systemic racism. When Riley confronts Jen, she shouts, “It’s a priviledge never to think about race. I don’t have that priviledge.” We Are Not Like Them is written by interracial friends Christine Pride and Jo Piazza. They serve as the voices of Riley and Jen to tell this powerful story from very different perspectives. This is a timely book that is direct and thought-provoking. Riley’s mother has one of the best words of advice, “You can’t expect everyone to get everything. Sometimes you’ve gotta meet people where they are and bring them along.”
This book is perfect for book clubs and will hopefully generate lots of discussion. Perhaps it will help bring us all along. We must do better.
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: October 5, 2021.
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