With the success of films like Hidden Figures and Fences, it’s no surprise Hollywood is looking for more books by Black authors to bring to the big screen. Thankfully, Black writers have been producing wonderful novels–like Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give and Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything–many of which are finding their way to film. Next up, actress and producer Kerry Washington is helping another wonderful book come to life.
Warner Bros. (the studio behind Everything, Everything) just announced it optioned Brit Bennett’s best selling novel, The Mothers. The project will be produced by Washington, who recently flexed her behind-the-scenes bona fides by producing the Golden Globe nominated drama, Confirmation.
The Mothers is Bennett’s debut novel and has been hailed as “ferociously moving” by the New York Times and one of the best books of the 2016 by NPR.
Here’s a synopsis of the book via Amazon:
Set within a contemporary Black community in Southern California, Brit Bennett’s mesmerizing first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret.
“All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we’d taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season.”
It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.
In entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a “what if” can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever.
Bennett will executive produce the project and write the script, and Natalie Krinsky will also serve as a producer. Julia Spiro and Courtney Freedman will oversee the project for Warner Bros.