Book jacket image for The Unsettled by Ayana Mathis

Random House



The Unsettled

In The Unsettled’s short but perfectly paced chapters, Toussaint, Ava and Dutchess tell of not only their disappointment and despair but also their dreams, crafting a heartbreaking tale about Reagan’s America that deftly weaves the past and present into the possibility of a bright, if still-unfolding, future.

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Review of ‘The Unsettled’

Ayana Mathis’ outstanding sophomore novel, The Unsettled, separately follows a mother and daughter, Dutchess and Ava Carson, in the mid-1980s as they fight to build lives with a sense of stability, family and home.

Dutchess, a former nightclub performer who found a husband and a hearth in Bonaparte, Alabama, is struggling to save her adopted…

Interview with Ayana Mathis

Ayana Mathis’ The Unsettled is a gripping novel about mothers and children, past and present, and the private hells in which we often find ourselves while searching for utopia. With its chorus of intergenerational voices and its themes of love, loss and legacy, it contains many of the things her loyal readers most enjoy, along with a story that is heartbreaking yet hopeful.

Featuring ‘The Unsettled’

Our Top 10 books of October 2023
October's Top 10 list includes Alix E. Harrow's best book yet, plus the long-awaited second novel from Ayana Mathis, a pitch-perfect romance from KJ Charles and a breathtaking debut memoir.

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