Stubborn Archivist | Yara Rodrigues Fowler | Review

“But where are you really from?”





When your mother considers another country home, it’s hard to know where you belong. When the people you live among can’t pronounce your name, it’s hard to know exactly who you are. And when your body no longer feels like your own, it’s hard to understand your place in the world.

In Stubborn Archivist, a young British Brazilian woman from South London navigates growing up between two cultures and into a fuller understanding of her body, relying on signposts such as history, family conversation, and the eyes of the women who have shaped her—her mother, grandmother, and aunt. Our stubborn archivist takes us through first love and loss, losing and finding home, trauma and healing, and various awakenings of sexuality and identity. Shot through the novel are the narrator’s trips to Brazil, sometimes alone, often with family, where she accesses a different side of herself—one, she begins to realize, that is as much of who she is as anything else.


Firstly, I want to say thank you to FMCM Associates for sending me a copy of this book.

This is not something I would have thought about picking up, however I am all up for trying new things and this was the perfect opportunity to do so. I love reading books from new authors and this was something that I wanted to get behind and support in the best way possible.

The writing style for this book was so unique, as in I have never read a book like it before. It is such an effective writing style in the sense that I picked it up to read a couple of chapters before dinner and flew through 200 pages in no time. I would have sat and finished it in one sitting but I don’t need a hungry husband in my life so I stopped to cook dinner before diving straight in and finishing it int he same day that I started it. We move smoothly between the third and second person which is an unusual style to adopt but it worked really well and was still very easy to follow. The short pages really helped with the effect that the author was trying to portray and it was good to see.

I love the move between the two cultures and the languages that come along with them. The growing up in a  society that you were not born in, that your family are not from and trying to adapt to this. Some of the emotion in this is really raw and you can definitely feel what the author is trying to portray.

I actually enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would and it is a brilliant debut novel. There is definitely a gap in the market for a book like this and I can’t wait for other people to start picking it up.


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