The Secret Lives of Church Ladies | September 2021 Bookclub Selection

The MahoganyBooks | Very Smart Brothas bookclub September selection is The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw. This National Book Award Finalist “explores the raw and tender places where black women and girls dare to follow their desires and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good. The nine stories in this collection feature four generations of characters grappling with who they want to be in the world, caught as they are between the church’s double standards and their own needs and passions.”

We will meet to discuss the book on October 1, 2021 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at our Anacostia location.


About the Book

“Tender, fierce, proudly black and beautiful, these stories will sneak inside you and take root.” –Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Triumphant.” –Publishers Weekly

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies explores the raw and tender places where Black women and girls dare to follow their desires and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good. The nine stories in this collection feature four generations of characters grappling with who they want to be in the world, caught as they are between the church’s double standards and their own needs and passions.

There is fourteen-year-old Jael, who has a crush on the preacher’s wife. At forty-two, Lyra realizes that her discomfort with her own body stands between her and a new love. As Y2K looms, Caroletta’s “same time next year” arrangement with her childhood best friend is tenuous. A serial mistress lays down the ground rules for her married lovers. In the dark shadows of a hospice parking lot, grieving strangers find comfort in each other.

With their secret longings, new love, and forbidden affairs, these church ladies are as seductive as they want to be, as vulnerable as they need to be, as unfaithful and unrepentant as they care to be, and as free as they deserve to be.


Discussion Day Info

The discussion will take place on October 1st from 6PM -8PM EST at MahoganyBooks, located at 1231 Good Hope Rd., SE Washington, DC 20020.

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MahoganyBooks is an online bookstore that believes in social entrepreneurship. We take a leadership role in the African American community promoting reading, writing, and cultural awareness as tools to improve communities as well as enrich the lives of motivated individuals.

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