The Deep – Staff Review – Cherise

The Deep by Rivers Soloman (Request)(CloudLibrary)

When the mermaids remember what human’s have done to the world and their ancestors, they won’t just get revenge, they’ll take back what’s theirs.

The Deep is a story that’s been told again and again, from music, from writing, to more. The Deep by Rivers Soloman is another version of it and one that though short is very much worth the read. We follow Yetu, the historian of the wajinru, the decedent’s of the African Slaves thrown overboard while pregnant. Yetu carries the memories of her people, their pasts and how they came to be, but suffers under it. When given a chance to escape her role as historian, she takes the chance, knowing that the rest of her people will suffer under the weight.

I honestly love the messages this book has. I probably won’t be able to name them all and I apologize, but the main one I want to mention is the fact it brings up the case of remembering one’s ancestors as a way of giving thanks, but also knowing that there’s such generational trauma that it could truly hurt those who must live with these memories and suffer under them. And the way of balancing, this book allows the characters to balance it once Yetu is confronted by another character who is the last of her people, who is exactly what Yetu needs to remember she is honoring her ancestors and keeping them alive through those memories, at the cost of pain. Other characters in turn help Yetu as she helps them with balancing the heavy truth of the past, which is key. Yetu isn’t exactly the most loveable character, but this has to do with her getting weighed down and being forced to decide if she is allowed to live and be herself, or die under the heavy weight of these memories. By the end, you finally understand her more and the parts that make her tick as a person. Why she’s was so abrasive (which I get, as someone with sensory over stimulation that happens more than I want, this was the first time seeing a character truly show how overwhelming those feelings are) and why she chose herself over the others. It’s honestly a really important read with great representation with gender and sexuality, along with a cast of black characters learning to live and understand one another and their shared trauma.

3 stars