Title: The Sweetest Remedy
Author: Jane Igharo
Genre: Current Lit
Page Count: 293
Publication Date: September 28, 2021
This past Christmas, my husband bought me a stack of titles that were getting dusty on my Bookstagram TBR list and this is one of the books he purchased. I added this novel to my TBR after seeing it highlighted on Book of the Month‘s Instagram. I selected it in an attempt to branch out into the beach-read genre, not one I often frequent, and was pleasantly surprised to find the book was written by a woman of color. I had set a goal for myself to intentionally support writers of color in February and was glad to continue the trend with this book. Like When We Were Birds, the story was centered around a love story, so it was February was a romance double feature.
The Sweetest Remedy is a spicy Lifetime movie-esque story that takes you through the journey of Hannah, a biracial woman living in San Francisco, as she navigates meeting her estranged family after she is invited to her absent father’s funeral in Nigeria. While in Nigeria, Hannah befriends and falls in love with Lawrence, a man taken in by her father and his wife as a child after his mother dies unexpectedly.
Igharo follows a standard rom-com formula (this book gives me hard What a Girl Wants vibes) while clearly referencing Igharo’s life as a woman of color within its pages. Books are often a reflection of an author’s experience; you could hear Igharo’s voice come through her characters as they addressed different struggles they faced as human beings and also as people of color. I found her ability to create a social discourse around race, in what I would have assumed to be a simple and fluffy read, tasteful, thoughtful, and skilled.
I also learned so much about Nigeria while reading this book. It was as if Igharo was writing the country a secret love letter throughout the pages. From its class divide to cuisine, Igharo provides just enough detail to educate her reader about a nation they may know nothing about while also keeping them engrossed in the story.
The hardest part of this book for me had to be the fact that it is very modern. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book so deeply set in the 2010s. From referencing Louboutin to Carpe-fucking-Diem, I was thrown by reading a book in my own reality. I often turn to books in different worlds or eras because I enjoy escapism while I’m reading. I didn’t experience my typical disconnect and I missed it. On a positive note, I did add some of the novels Igharo mentions throughout the book to my TBR list since I knew they were likely legit (I’m especially intrigued to read Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler).
All and all, I found this book refreshing and easy to read. I highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys a good drama-filled love story and is interested in learning a little more about being a POC today.
Igharo’s romance can be found here if you’re ready to dive in,