Posted in Book Reviews

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi: A Review

Homegoing was the first book pick in my #Buyonebookamonthchallenge run on Twitter. I read this book from January through April and it was a ride.

It was a pretty interesting and educating read albeit sad. My first foray into books about colonialism from the perspective of other African countries and I loved it. It didn’t end the way I expected but I want to believe that was part of the author’s plan, leaving us dissatisfied and a bit confused.

The story tells of two separated sisters, Effia and Esi born of a slave woman who grow up in different conditions, Effia was a wife to a white slave master and Esi sold into slavery. The story spans seven generations down to the 21st century lived by the offspring of these women. We meet different characters, we love them based on their experience but we see how powerless they are in the face of slavery and their predicaments.

This is a story about being black and African, about slavery, its effect on Africans. I finally get to understand to some extent what went on in the era of colonialism despite it being a work of fiction. To think this is Yaa Gyasi’s debut (first) book, it’s so deep and mature a book.

The story concludes when the 7th generation of both women eventually meet and I must say it was an anti-climatic scene for me.

Homegoing as the name implies is a book that talks about family legacy, history, slavery and finding home. The themes expressed include feminism, the women in this book were strong, which was seen in their tone, their activities. We also see religion, rape, the effect of the slave trade on the Ghanaians as well as their relationship with each other. Language too!! The language was such a strong theme in this book, loss of language symbolized a total loss of identity, persons were made to stop speaking their language to prevent communication amongst the slaves.

Homegoing made me understand the existence of the friction between Black Americans and Africans, the existence of the classism between these sects, which I must say was quite sad to see.

There exists a curse in the family line of Effia and Esi which affects them as the story continues. The narratives I loved a lot were that of Ness and Sam, Kojo, H and Yaw, their experience from the Goldcoast to the Plantations of Mississippi from the American Civil War to the Mines and Jazz Age Harlem.

Effia’s line stays back in Ghana while Esi’s line ends up in America. We see the misrepresentation of Africa in America, the effect of Racism, the laws guiding blacks abroad, the fight to total freedom in the White man’s land, the sense of loss from their motherland and the fight to return home or rather the lack of will to return home because was it exactly home when you never lived there?

We also experience love, betrayals, hate, drug abuse and so much more, Homegoing encompasses all.

A beautiful, well thought out and researched story. You should read it!

To get a copy, visit Roving Heights and place an order, definitely worth your while.

Here are some bookmarks from Homegoing

Posted in Book Club Reads

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare: A Review

You know when you start a book and you know you are in for a heavy reading?

That’s how I felt when I started Abi Dare’s book and I’m done my heart is broken but so full and happy. I love a good Happy Ever After. This book is a must read and it is really worth it.

Beautiful plot, well developed, may have been easy to predict but touched on real life issues and concluded with so much hope, growth and optimism.

Set in Ikati, a small village, we meet Adunni who loses her mum at fourteen years of age and is left to take care of her dead-beat dad and her brothers. She drops out of school due to lack of funds, despite the promises her dad made to her mum, but she knows she needs an education because mum told her she needs a louding voice.

She is married off by her dad in exchange for โ€œAgric fowl, very costly. Bag of rice, two of it. And money.โ€ ๐Ÿ™„ and we are taken through Adunni’s journey as a wife, maid and finally to getting her louding voice.

This book is so beautiful, from friends who become more than family to grace unfounded. We meet all who shape Adunni’s life.

This book was written in Broken English according to mg book club members ๐Ÿ˜‚ and I truly loved it, made the story more relatable and different from the norm we read. I’m still searching for more books written in Broken English, if you know any please send a message on twitter @thereadershut. ๐Ÿ˜

The themes explores here include Education, this was the major theme, our louding voice; jungle justice, parenting, money and its effect on life, pedigree, marriage and it’s trials, domestic violence, family dynamics, friendship, feminism, the complexity of the female gender and the power they possess, religion, infertility, child labour, bleaching practiced by Nigerians and finally Freedom.

We see strong Female characters: Mrs Tia, Big mummy, Adunni’s mum, Mama Iya and strong Male characters: Kayus, Kofi and Abu.

Nigeria was wholly represented using Lagos and we also explore some political themes as this story was set in the year President Buhari won the election over former President Goodluck. The negative and positive expectations citizens had regarding President Buhari winning was observed and I loved the infusion of Nigerian facts.

Abi Dare is an awesome writer, she had a way of infusing wit and humor into the story even in sad scenes, which shows how Nigerian she is, I mean we laugh and joke about every issue we face in this country, it’s our coping technique.

On a lighter note, Big mummy is a clown๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚, the description of her home color scheme and her makeup would definitely worsen my eye defect and please, who wears two bras and panties in this hot Nigerian weather?

Who washes their clothes with their hands and still wash them using a washing machine? If you practice this please explain to me in the comment section, why? ๐Ÿ™„

I mean typical Nigerians and suffer head mentality.

I also loved how the story portrayed that knowing how to speak good English and understanding English language doesn’t guarantee wisdom or common sense.

In conclusion, this book was a delight to read, a lot of lessons picked but majorly be good to people, one iota of kindness goes a long way. So much strength exuded in one book.

“I learnt the power of focus, of belief, of pushing on, of never giving up on one’s dreams, of being good to people irrespective of how they treat you” – Adams, Bookclub member.

This book was The Readers Hut bookclub read for the months March/April and we loved it. To get a copy you can place an order here

Till the next post! I will leave you with some excerpts…

Posted in Life

Nigerians: Architects of our own misfortune or not?

Whoop! Whoop! A new blog post, consistency people! This is an area I always battle with. How have we been? Oh! Happy Easter Celebration!!

Send dollz to your family people, I’m your family too๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ˜Œ

Let’s talk about something that keeps bugging me, the nature and character of a Nigerian.

Nigerians are really beautiful, blessed and amazing people, but we keep getting things wrong in our homeland. Right from our leaders who are eternally corrupt to our citizens, I feel we are in a tight fix. We cause a lot of problems for ourselves which is sad but this is our reality.

I think it’s basic human nature to be disobedient, non law abiding and troublesome at times but Nigerians somehow have it in spades and I know we can do better.

Two weeks ago was a very rainy period in the beautiful city of Port-Harcourt, Rivers State. When these happen we see flooded roads, increased traffic and lack of transportation, I have never really understood why.

On this rainy morning, I was standing on the pedestrian walkway with some students and workers waiting for transport vehicles, when this white hilux with two lawyers decides to cut across traffic by driving over the pedestrian walkway. The roads were flooded and the water splashed over we the pedestrians. Thanks people, thank you for giving us a second bath, as the one we had before leaving our homes wasn’t enough.

Can I use a curse word? ๐Ÿ˜’ I mean how insensitive can we be, they didn’t apologise, it was like nothing happened. The irony in this scenario is that the car passengers were lawyers๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚, these are supposed to be people who uphold law and orderliness in the society, right?

Actions bring reactions, it is these cases and more that make people invite the police to help intervene in issues, I don’t subscribe to police invitations but there are times you just can’t help it.

I see a lot of debates on twitter concerning why Nigerians shouldn’t be held responsible for some of the things we do, last week it was ongoing and some persons were like we should blame the corrupt leaders and I’m wholly in support of that but regardless we should play our part to be good people. We can’t all be perfect, but try to be good.

There is this law enforcement agency set up by Governor Wike in Port-Harcourt, Road Taskforce, they are quite a raggedy bunch, rough and sometimes corrupt people but fam I really wished they caught those lawyers ๐Ÿ˜, I mean let’s reap the reward of our actions right? Well they wouldn’t, because they can as well pay their way out of it. Welcome to Nigeria!

We are blessed, very intelligent citizens, we deserve a working system, we really do but let’s try to develop one from our little corners. That’s all for today, my Easter gift to you all is to Be Good People!

I finally finished The girl with the louding voice by Abi Dare and my review would be up next weekend.

I will be rounding up Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and picking up A Broken People’s Playlist by Chimeka Garricks soon, I really can’t wait, a friend read it and said He was all up in his feelings after reading it๐Ÿฅบ

Till next time! If you have thoughts to share, the comment section is waiting for you๐Ÿ˜

Don’t forget to buy books from our favourite store Roving Heights, if you need recommendations ask in the comment section or send me a message on twitter @thereadershut.