Wash Day Diaries by Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith

Cover Art for Wash Day Diaries

Review: Wash Day Diaries
by Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith. Chronicle Books, July 2022. 192 p. ill. ISBN 9781797205458 (pbk), $19.95.

Reviewed July 2023 by Shandy Frey, Research and Instruction Librarian, Savannah College of Art and Design,

If you are in need of some girl time, pick up Wash Day Diaries and let your cup be filled. Rowser and Smith deliver a delightful, slice-of-life story about four friends living their best lives in the city. Follow Davene, Nisha, Kim and Cookie as they tackle things like mental health issues, and family estrangement – all while maintaining fabulous hair and an inseparable bond.

The art style is haphazard, beautiful, real, and messy – like all of our perfectly imperfect lives. Wash Day Diaries is relatable to all readers but will particularly resonate with womxn in their 20’s. Young adult and adult readers alike will be captivated by the story. It’s a great addition to collections at public, high school, and academic libraries. The coloring is bright and cheerful and each character has their own specific color palette that shifts to reflect the difficulty of their story.

While I enjoyed reading Wash Day Diaries, I was left wanting more. Heavy concepts, like dealing with depression or family trauma, are addressed without real resolution. While companionship and community are important when addressing your issues, so can be seeing a therapist and having those tough conversations with family or friends. I hope that Rowser and Smith are planning a second volume to continue the story, since readers may be left looking for more resolution to some of the bigger issues. Regardless, I still recommend Wash Day Diaries for a rewarding self-love experience.

Link to Accessible PDF

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