The weather has cooled and the nights are drawing in. Summer is officially over and autumn has arrived. Another month is also over, which means it’s time for another wrap up.
It’s been a fantastic month. I’ve read 17 books in total, which includes one audiobook, and I’m part way through two other audiobooks. I’ve read some outstanding books and discovered some new authors I’ll definitely read again.
I also took part in 14 blog tours, 4 readalongs and the Tasting Notes Book Club. I was excited to take part in my first author Q&As. The first was a private Zoom with Cecelia Ahern and other bloggers, and the other was my first over Instagram Live. Courtesy of One More Chapter I took part in a Q&A with Annie Lyons. I’m so grateful to have these opportunities and still can’t believe I’m able to talk with authors I’ve loved for years.
With so many great books, it’s not easy to choose a favourite. But Eudora Honeysett is Quite Well, Thank You was such a standout read that it ended up making the choice easy. I loved it so much that it is even a contender for book of the year.
If you want to read my reviews for what I read in September, then click on the title and it will take you to my review (unless it’s one of the ones I’ve not written yet lol).
Did we read any of the same books this month? What was your favourite book in September? Let me know in the comments.
*Thank you to the publushers for my gifted copies of the books.
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for this spectacular debut. Thank you to Anne at Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part and Endeavour for the gifted copy of the book.
Alexandra Wilson was a teenager when her dear family friend Ayo was stabbed on his way home from football. Ayo’s death changed Alexandra. She felt compelled to enter the legal profession in search of answers.
As a junior criminal and family law barrister, Alexandra finds herself navigating a world and a set of rules designed by a privileged few. A world in which fellow barristers sigh with relief when a racist judge retires: ‘I’ve got a black kid today and he would have had no hope’.
In her debut book, In Black and White, Alexandra re-creates the tense courtroom scenes, the heart-breaking meetings with teenage clients, and the moments of frustration and triumph that make up a young barrister’s life.
Alexandra shows us how it feels to defend someone who hates the colour of your skin, or someone you suspect is guilty. We see what it is like for children coerced into county line drug deals and the damage that can be caused when we criminalise teenagers.
Alexandra’s account of what she has witnessed as a young mixed-race barrister is in equal parts shocking, compelling, confounding and powerful.
“It was watching moments like these that made me realise how important diversity is in the legal profession. I wanted to be able to give people a voice and be instrumental in changing the path of their lives.”
In Black and White is a sensational debut that tells the author’s own story; charting her journey to become a barrister.
Bold, intelligent, thorough-provoking, affecting and inspiring, Ms. Wilson draws the reader in quickly, beginning her story with her cousin’s tragic murder when they were both just seventeen. This event was a major turning point in her life and is what set her on her path to a career as a barrister. We then follow each step, from her first interest in the law, her early days in pupillage, to finally qualifying as a fully-fledged barrister.
As both a woman and person of mixed heritage, she finds herself facing obstacles of multiple kinds of discrimination along the way and examines a range of issues faced not only by her, but by people in all facets of the criminal justice system. The writing is fantastic, the story as compelling as any courtroom drama. But it’s all real. She holds the reader in her thrall, educating them without getting overly academic, using her own experiences and observations alongside the facts and figures.
Ms. Wilson is a remarkable woman who has overcome so much. Her warmth, compassion, strength and tenacity shine from every page. She often talks about not being sure if she’s the right fit for the Bar, but it is clear that she is exactly what it needs. Our justice system needs understanding, empathy, diversity and people who believe in justice and equality for all. Ms. Wilson ticks all of those boxes and is someone who can not only make great changes herself, but inspire others to do the same.
This powerful story is essential reading for anyone who cares about equality and diversity. It is a reminder of the reality of sexism, classism, racism and misogyny facing those in our legal system every day. And a reminder that through our own actions we can affect change in the places it is needed, one step at a time.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Alexandra Wilson is a junior barrister. She grew up in Essex and is the eldest of four children. Her mother is White British, her father is Black British and her paternal grandparents were born in Jamaica and came to England as part of the Windrush generation.
Alexandra studied at the University of Oxford and was awarded two prestigious scholarships, enabling her to research the impact of police shootings in the US on young people’s attitudes to the police. She went on to study for a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and her Master of Laws at BPP University in London. Alexandra was awarded the first Queen’s scholarship by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, a scholarship awarded to students showing exceptional promise in a career at the Bar.
Alongside her paid family and criminal law work, Alexandra helps to facilitate access to justice by providing legal representation for disenfranchised minorities and others on a pro-bono basis.