Review of We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza
In We Are Not Like Them, Pride and Piazza dig into a friendship of opposites, conflicts around race, and a police shooting, creating a page-turner that doesn't shy away from exploring painful situations, tragedy, and the seeming impossibility of forgiveness.
In We Are Not Like Them, real-life friends and collaborators Christine Pride and Jo Piazza offer a story about lifelong friends Jen and Riley, one white, one Black.
Jen married young and is about to become a mother, while Riley is poised to become one of the first Black female anchors on their hometown Philadelphia television station.
Their lives have gone in different directions, and they've always been very different in many ways, yet the women have been through difficult and joyful times, and they still care deeply about each other.
But when Jen's police officer husband is involved in the shooting of a Black teenager, the women's friendship is stretched to the breaking point.
This exploration of love, race, friendship, and more is told in alternating points of view.
Pride and Piazza explain in an interesting epilogue how deeply they explored each character; their writing challenges in trying to dive into each point of view while trying not to favor either one; and the personal conflicts they experienced with each other while digging into the nuances of and uncomfortable truths about race, ignorance, privilege, stereotypes, systemic racism, and more within their collaborative work of fiction.
Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?
They Are Not Like Us is a page turner while also offering thoughtful, often difficult and painful aspects of race relations and friendship.
Christine Pride and Jo Piazza dug into complex, loaded topics the way I was hoping Therese Anne Fowler would do more of in her novel with racial conflicts, stereotypes, and challenges, A Good Neighborhood.