I just may die exhausted too: A review of Jayne Allen's debut novel
Jayne Allen actually wrote my life in this book. Okay maybe minus the fact I am not thirty and haven’t been told I have to freeze my eggs BUT I really saw myself in the main character, Tabby.
When I saw this book on Instagram, I was intrigued. I am a Black woman and I always feel exhausted, and I never thought about that is how I would die.
Tabby is very relatable, the 30-something Black woman in a job that doesn’t praise Black people. As a Black woman in graduate school, I saw myself in many scenarios Tabby was in. The white male co-worker (student) talking over you and your ideas in meetings. The ambiguous support of your advisor. The constant overhanging fear of imposter syndrome of “am I in this room because I belong or because they needed a Black person.”
Despite the age difference, I saw myself in Tabby. I haven’t had the conversation about freezing my eggs; however, I have had a conversation about the impeding inevitability of my fibroids coming back. I am only 25 and I have already had 4 removed and they are growing back as I type. For this, I am grateful that Allen decided to cover this topic. This is a topic that we do not cover often in the Black community.
As if the title doesn’t speak for itself, Allen continues to show us through the different characters who Black girls can die exhausted. The fear of perfectionism (yes, I view that as a fear). The constant threat of failure. The deceit of mistakes meaning destitution. With every character through this book, I found myself holding up a dirty mirror to look at myself and evaluate myself a little more.
I cannot wait for the rest of the trilogy to be released. I want to gobble up those books immediately.
I will end this semi review with this quote from the book:
“I say don’t ever die of exhaustion on somebody else’s terms!”
I rate this book FIVE BIG CUPS OF COFFEE!