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  • Writer's pictureZanele Mukhari

Grown a novel by Tiffany D. Jackson

Reviewed by Zanele Mukhari




“There’s blood everywhere. No, not blood. Beet juice. Or maybe cranberry. Thinned barbecue sauce. But no, not blood. Blood means more than I can comprehend.” The novel opens with our protagonist coming to after a blackout covered in blood, no not blood, beet juice, she tries to convince herself. She looks around the room and there is beet juice everywhere.


Enchanted Jones is a 17-year-old black girl living in the suburbs with her parents and siblings. Her life is pretty ordinary, she goes to school, attends swim meets, and occasionally looks after her younger siblings, but Enchanted wants more, she wants to be a singer.


When Enchanted auditions for a singing competition, never in her wildest dreams could she have imagined she would meet world renowned R&B singer Korey Fields, but when she does, her dream quickly turns into a nightmare.


Korey Fields, our protagonist, is a 28-year-old black singer who decides to take Enchanted under his wing. After Fields discovers Enchanted at a talent show, he promises to help her hone her talent and become a super star. However, our antagonist preys on Enchanted’s hunger to become a recording artist and along with her innocence and naivety, Korey Fields manages to manipulate and abuse our main character.


Award winning author Tiffany D. Jackson’s Grown is an enthralling read and sparks conversations we should be having. The novel deals with heavy content that might be triggering for readers as the themes in Grown revolve around; coercion, rape, victim blaming, abuse and a few other interlinked topics.



Grown takes you on an emotional rollercoaster, from the first chapter right to the last. Fields comes across as a suave character in the novel but you soon realize his predatorial behavior which is masked by his charm and seemingly sincere interest in Enchanted’s singing career.


Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you can tell that this novel is loosely based on the R.Kelly scandal, however Jackson mentions in the authors notes that this novel has nothing to do with R.Kelly, but rather based on her experience with her first boyfriend when she was just 15 and he was 22 years old.


Jackson’s novel gives a voice to young people who have been taken advantage, especially girls of color who are afraid to speak out about their traumatic experiences because more times than not, society refuses to believe them.




Jackson’s novel gives a voice to young people who have been taken advantage, especially girls of color who are afraid to speak out about their traumatic experiences because more times than not, society refuses to believe them.

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