Black Girls Must Be Magic: A Novel (Hardcover)
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.
— New York Times Book Review on Black Girls Must Die Exhausted
"Allen writes in a sharp, lively voice that is full of warmth and humor...Tabitha and her friends are well-drawn, and it is the dynamic between the protagonist and the women in her life that propels the story. Touching on issues of professional womanhood, race, and family, the author crafts a novel that is both timely and enjoyable."
— Kirkus Reviews on Black Girls Must Die Exhausted
"Allen crafts an engaging and evenly plotted story of a woman who, after learning that she has only a limited window in which to have children, evaluates her relationships and personal aspirations....readers will readily connect with her search for fulfillment on her journey of self-discovery."
— The BookLife Prize on black girls must die exhaustedblack
“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
"A story for our times, dealing with urgent, important themes in an exhilaratingly entertaining way. Tabby, the gutsy heroine navigating her way through the challenges of life for a thirty-something, Black professional woman, is a wonderfully relatable character who had me rooting for her from the very first page. The choices Tabby has to make will resonate with anyone trying to stay true to themselves in balancing their personal and career aspirations. I was beguiled by the warmth and humanity that shine throughout the book, particularly in Tabby’s relationships with her beloved grandmother and her spirited friends. Jayne Allen has created a fresh, modern and uplifting book that left me wanting more. I adored it."
— Sarah Haywood, New York Times bestselling author of The Cactus on Black Girls Must Die Exhausted