Black Girls Must Be Magic: A Novel (Hardcover)
“Masterfully written and pitch perfect, Black Girls Must Be Magic is, simply, magic.”—Good Morning America
In this highly anticipated second installment in the Black Girls Must Die Exhausted series, Tabitha Walker copes with more of life’s challenges and a happy surprise—a baby—with a little help and lots of love from friends old and new.
For Tabitha Walker, her grandmother’s old adage, “Black girls must die exhausted” is becoming all too true. Discovering she’s pregnant—after she was told she may not be able to have biological children—Tabitha throws herself headfirst into the world of “single mothers by choice.” Between her job, doctor’s appointments, and preparing for the baby, she’s worn out. And that’s before her boss at the local news station starts getting complaints from viewers about Tabitha’s natural hair.
When an unexpected turn of events draws Marc—her on and off-again ex-boyfriend—back into her world with surprising demands, and the situation at work begins to threaten her livelihood and her identity, Tabitha must make some tough decisions about her and her baby’s future. It takes a village to raise a child, and Tabitha turns to the women who have always been there for her.
Bolstered by the fierce support of Ms. Gretchen, her grandmother’s best friend, the counsel of her closest friends Laila and Alexis, and the calming presence of her doula Andouele, Tabitha must find a way to navigate motherhood on her own terms. Will she harness the bravery, strength, and self-love she’ll need to keep “the village” together, find her voice at work, and settle things with Marc before the baby arrives?
Jayne Allen is the pen name of Jaunique Sealey, a graduate of Duke University and Harvard Law School. An avid traveler, she speaks three languages and has visited five continents. Drawing from her unique experiences as an attorney and entrepreneur, she crafts transcultural stories that touch upon contemporary women’s issues such as workplace and career dynamics, race, fertility, modern relationships and mental health awareness. Her writing echoes her desire to bring both multiculturalism and multidimensionality to a rich and colorful cast of characters inspired by the magic uncovered in everyday life. Black Girls Must Die Exhausted is her first novel which she calls “the epitaph of my 30s.” A proud native of Detroit, she currently lives in Los Angeles.
“Allen shines in her second installment of a planned trilogy about a career-driven Black woman… Allen’s sharp, frank prose advances the engaging plot. This bittersweet treat will have wide appeal with women’s fiction fans.” — Publishers Weekly
“Allen’s solid follow-up to Black Girls Must Die Exhausted sees her characters navigating the many societal issues Black women face… Fans of Terry McMillan will enjoy this humorous and entertaining novel.” — Library Journal
“The characters here are written in such a way as to make you feel like they’re people you know in real life, so get ready to feel like you’re hearing the latest on your friends. The issues they face are serious, but there is also humor throughout. You’ll be ready to get your hands on the next in the series.” — Book Riot
“A charming slice of life centered on a Black woman and her search for the life she deserves, this is a much-needed novel and series.” — Nerdist
“Allen has a way of making the reader feel like they’re part of the gang, or in the case of this book, part of the village…. hooks you in from start to finish.” — The Suburban
“Masterfully written and pitch perfect, Black Girls Must Be Magic is, simply, magic.” — Good Morning America
“In Jayne Allen’s debut novel, Black Girls Must Die Exhausted, readers are reminded of many ways Black women are not afforded tranquility, time or space to just be. . . .. What readers will discover is this: Black women figure it out. Whether Allen’s characters are contending with a problematic manager at work, a husband’s poor decisions or a grim diagnosis, they come together and empower one another with a web of understanding and love that is not available elsewhere in their lives, where they have to project an image of perfection. . . . Black Girls Must Die Exhausted is the first novel in a three-book series. If her opening salvo is any indication, Allen promises to show the relentlessness of the trauma Black women deal with every day leavened with the solidarity of friends who can relate.” — New York Times Book Review on Black Girls Must Die Exhausted
“An impossible-to-put-down novel chronicling Tabitha Walker’s extremely relatable journey through relationships—with men, friends, family, and most importantly, herself. With finely-drawn characterizations and touching life lessons, Jayne Allen paints Tabitha’s “adulting” journey with heartbreaking, heartwarming strokes that stayed with me long after I’d finished reading. (On a personal note, as a Black woman who struggles with infertility, it’s so refreshing that Allen sheds a light on this rarely-told story.) Sign me up for the trilogy!” — Tia Williams, award-winning author of The Perfect Find and Seven Days in June on Black Girls Must Die Exhausted
“Black Girls Must Die Exhausted is a smart, sophisticated portrait of three very different women, united in both their struggles and their joy. Allen seamlessly blends sharp social commentary with a heartwarming story of friendship between irresistibly complex characters. A fresh, punch-packing debut from an author to watch!” — Emily Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read on Black Girls Must Die Exhausted