I think I am in world war 2 phase… I keep wanting to pick up books around this time period.
The book has its share of bad reviews but if you are looking for a hard core historical novel then is not for you, for its filled with anachronisms and a plot which is hard to believe and appears contrived.
However, in spite of its short falls I found it to be a pleasant read . The language is good , flow from one paragraph to the next consistent and the tempo is steady.
This brings my total books read this year to 7( sigh , at the start of the year I planned to read at least 2 books a month …) anyway I have half a year left and will try to read at least 10 more books.
Love , love, love it, for how can I not? This story revolves around a cause that I feel very strongly about. It is about a little girl in Nigeria who has only one goal in life , that is to get educated and do better.
In spite of all the heartbreaking, gut wrenching things that happen to her , her optimism and single minded steadfastness to her goal shines through .
Abi Dare has written this book in the real voice of Adunni. Her language is hard at first because of its disregard for grammar and tenses,(Adunni lacks formal education) but then the rhythm builds up and you get used to it. This is a very good example of how it’s not good grammar that makes a good book but the story, the flow and the emotions it invokes in reader.
Another highlight is how poignant and relateable her thoughts are …
For example, in the below excerpt Ms Tia who is married to a doctor is ambushed into a whipping so that the devil is beaten out of her and she can finally have babies and this is what 14 year old Adunni says,
“But there are words in my head, many things I want to say. I want to tell Ms Tia I am sorry I made her come here. I want to ask why the doctor didn’t come too? Why didn’t he come and get a beating like his wife? If it takes two people to make a baby, why only one person, the woman, is suffering when the baby is not coming? Is it because she is the one with breast and the stomach for being pregnant? Or because of what? I want to ask, to scream, why are the women in Nigeria seem to be suffering for everything more than the men?
There are so many wonderful things about this book , the characters , the social issues it touches upon and the feeling of hope over despair, but the one that stayed with me most was this.
‘Why is this so important to you, Adunni?’ ‘My mama say education will give me a voice. I want more than just a voice, Ms Tia. I want a louding voice,’ I say. ‘I want to enter a room and people will hear me even before I open my mouth to be speaking.
I wonder, if you take a long time to read a book, does that mean the book is not good?
I received this paper back from N for my 40th and have been at it since then. Just a few pages a day until this evening, when it really took off.
I have loved “You’ve got a mail “, “Julia and Julia” , “Sleepless in Seattle”, “When Harry met Sally” etc….my ideas of love were heavily influenced by these movies, through my teenage and early twenties ,until one day I woke up to see they no longer held me in thrall …Very similar to the author’s experience with 7 brides movie.
In short my curiosity was piqued , I wanted to know about the women behind all these romantic comedies.
The book is a collection of essays about death ,dog ,love and life… just when you start to think the book is a dud , it surprises you with little insightful bits into daily life which you almost, never notice.
Leaving you with my favourite lines from the book.
“Collaboration,dilutes intimacy and like marriage, it works best when you both want the same things, like the same things and laugh at the same things. Shared sensibility is critical. Loyalty, too. And trust. You should also be a little bit in love with each other’s brains.”