The Belles

A One Paragraph Book Review

thebellesThe Belles, the 2018 solo debut of Dhonielle Clayton has gotten huge press and praise for its diverse cast of characters (I’m a firm believer that diversity is needed across all genres of books, so that’s a point in its favor) but it was not, unfortunately a book I’m likely to recommend. It’s been described as “lush and lavish,” as well as a myriad of other adjectives which, apparently, means that a good two-thirds of the words are going to be used to describe the characters’ hair and clothes a la sentences like: “Her deep plum dress, resplendent with satin ribbons and embellished with crystals, sparkled like a sugar-encrusted pomegranate.” The plot, when you finally get to it, is mildly interesting, and the characters are well-written and relatable, but there is far, far too much time spend on descriptions (many of you may disagree, and that’s fine). This is a pity, because if you manage to wade through all the chiffon skirts and buttercream lace, there is something of an intriguing story here, it’s just hard to get to.

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