4. Something Like Beautiful

One Single Mother’s Story

by asha bandele

In her first non-fiction book, The Prisoner’s Wife, asha bandele recounts how an well-educated, middle-class raised poet & journalist finds herself married to a man in prison. And not to a man who she was already involved with who then went to prison. A man she met in prison and married there. I loved that book. She told a beautiful story of love appearing where you don’t expect it and a lot of women in similar situations connected to it.

Something Like Beautiful picks up her story as she gives birth to the couple’s first child. She didn’t make the decision to have a child with a partner who is incarcerated. bandele took into account that while her husband wasn’t physically nearby to help raise a child with her, his contribution as a parent and his impending release would make it easier. She never considered herself a single parent like other women because Rashid, her husband, was thoroughly involved in every decision made as it relates to their daughter.

bandele is a poet, so the book is well written and the imagery surrounding the people, places, and emotions is beautiful. I won’t ruin it for you if you plan to read it, but a major event happens that is skimmed over and I actually thought pages were missing from my ARC (advanced reader’s copy). Over on Goodreads, I’ve read that others have had the same concerns over this missing chapter of her life.

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