Do What Godmother Says
June 21, 2024

Book Review

Do What Godmother Says

reviewed by Sheena Alizadeh


Shanice Pierce is a writer going through a tough time, losing her job and her boyfriend all at once. She inherits a painting from her grandmother that has been in the family for generations. To her surprise, she finds herself drawn to it in a way she can’t understand. As she searches for answers, she learns that the artist was a young woman whose mentor was known as “Godmother” and that both of them vanished without a trace.

Shanice learns the painting is worth a lot and people begin to pressure her to sell it but something in her tells her to hold onto it and find the truth behind it. Soon, she’s convinced people are stalking her and that somehow it’s connected to this painting. This leads to someone breaking into her apartment and turning the entire place over where she finally realizes people really are after the painting and won’t give up no matter what. Shanice becomes more and more paranoid, unsure of who she can trust and where she can turn to. From there, we’re taken on an adventure and the truth begins to unravel.

The novel is a gothic thriller but it is told in dual points of views from the past and present timeline, giving it a historical fiction feel to it. If you’re an avid thriller reader, you may find yourself guessing what happens and while you might be right in some, there will be a lot of revelations thrown at you that you won’t see coming, making this a very fun read. Being a godmother myself, I was very intrigued at just the title alone and pleasantly surprised at where the story takes us which is not where you will expect. 

I loved the relationship between Shanice and her grandmother. The family dynamic is complex and it is interesting to see how the generational trauma and struggles come into play. Themes that are also explored are mental health, race, and wealth. The commentary was done very well and fit right into the story.

If you loved L.S. Stratton’s previous novel, be sure to check this one out as well! I looked forward to seeing more of her work as always. Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book!

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