All About Love: Talking Romance Novels with Bree Hill
Reading Women with Sachi Argabright and Kendra Winchester
Reading Women is a weekly podcast where women discuss books by or about women. Each month features two episodes on the same theme—one highlighting a range of titles and one discussing two titles more in depth—and two author interviews with talented women writers.
This week, Sachi Argabright makes her hosting debut on the podcast discussing love stories and romance novels with Kendra. They end the episode with recommendations from romance expert Bree Hill. Listen below.
“As a biracial person, I want to read stories about normal people too, because I am a normal person.”
Sachi Argabright: I think that it’s really important to have stories about people of color or, in this case, biracial relationships. That the characters that are being featured are doing normal things. This is a love story and not some type of really heavy social justice issue type of book. While it’s really important to have those, as a biracial person, I want to read stories about normal people too, because I am a normal person.
So I really loved that when Jasmine Guillory’s books were coming out last year, it was very much like we had main characters who were people of color, but they are normal people and they are going to have this normal romance that everyone else has. So I really loved that there are some really good lessons, but it’s not like a lesson focused book. It’s focused on the love of these two people.
On First Comes Marriage, a memoir by Huda Al-Marashi about her arranged marriage
Kendra Winchester: [Those of us in the Western world] often have these assumptions that the communities that will have arranged marriages, or traditionally have arranged marriages, that they don’t promote women’s education or women independence. But really her parents, her mom specifically, did. They encouraged her to go get her degree. You were supposed to do it all. That was outside of the stereotype that I had in my mind. So it was obviously something that I needed to correct in myself and learn from. […] First Comes Marriage is an insight into something for those of us in the Western world. We need to think about these things and respect more conservative cultures and their practices. I was just so impressed with what she tackled in this memoir.
Books mentioned in the podcast
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory · The Ensemble by Aja Gabel · First Comes Marriage by Huda Al-Marashi · An American Marriage by Tayari Jones · Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins · Indigo by Beverly Jenkins · Flow by Kennedy Ryan · Grip by Kennedy Ryan · The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esmé Weijun Wang · The Mango Bride by Marivi Soliven · Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom