The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom
3 words: lyrical, evocative, strong sense of place
You know when you’re reading a book and the writing’s so lush and beautiful and honest and creative, you just wish so hard you could write like that? The Yellow House is one of those books. Sarah M. Broom is one of those writers.*
It’s no surprise that this book won the National Book Award. Not only is the content is important, but the book is hard to put down.
Broom writes of her childhood home–a shotgun house in New Orleans. A home that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, which Broom terms “the Water.”
And while her family’s home is at the heart of this book, really this is a coming of age story about family and race and inequality.
Broom is the “babiest” of twelve children, and her writing about her siblings makes a person appreciate the joy of being part of a large family. After her father’s much-too-early death, her mother raised them all herself, and that in itself is a marvel.
The New Orleans where Broom grew up was not the Big Easy known by tourists, and she’s frank about the struggles her family experienced due to racism and financial hardship.
The Yellow House is a memoir that’s powerful, expressive, and poignant. If you appreciate a unique and creative narrative voice, reading the work of Black authors, and experiencing a compelling reading experience, I encourage you to pick up a copy of The Yellow House.