Hey there, let’s talk about this book for a minute. Yes this book I have in my hand.
Well, usually before I read a book I would have gone through hundreds of reviews but for this one that was not the case. I purchased it totally on a whim. I had seen it around a few times and thought yeah, let me spoil myself a little with African fiction. Worst still, I didn’t even read the blurb I just went right in to chapter one. Haha. Nothing prepared me for the tragedies I encountered in reading this story, although they were somewhat shortlived and later on crowned with joy. It’s difficult to not continue to see shadows and footprints of molestation and abuse throughout the story and I guess this is what it must be like for people who have been abused sexually. I mean I can’t say that I understand what it is to be violated that way, I quite simply do not, cannot even. But this book helped to bring it closer to home. It helped me to feel pains and frustrations and disgust and distrust and confusion and I guess that’s the ultimate goal of fiction. To help us grow a muscle for empathy and see through another’s eye. And hopefully take that with us as we interact with real people in everyday life.
It was nice to read a fiction book and not need to open my dictionary even once. I was elated. I kept waiting to find a new word, but the moment never came. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the language would be easy for everyone but yes on an average, it is. And the fact that the story was set in Ibadan made it all the more endearing for me. I don’t know why. Not like I even like ib city like that o. Haha. But yes, yes. Beautiful story. Authentic, easy writing and lovable characters. All that to say, good read.
Let me not forget the examination of family and culture in the Yoruba setting that took place in this book. I like that fact that the author did not take sides but allowed the story (or shall I say culture as a whole) tell itself. Some things were familiar, some things were not. As it should be, people have it different when it comes to family relations. But the truth remains that culture in every part of the world, not only Africa is a two faced coin, hence as it has perks it also as it’s low points and come to think of it, this is the nature of life and all its element. Nothing is perfect. We can try to make adjustments but there will always be some falling short and that’s okay. As some would say, therein lies the beauty of living, in imperfections of all sorts.
I understand more now why my parents were quite restrictive and protective growing up and I doubt that if they had communicated their fears and concerns to me explicitly I would have understood, being that young. I don’t think most adults/parents have the right vocabulary and approach to discussing sex and sexuality with children. Much less the dangers of being molested, even by close family members. Can we blame them? I don’t know. How do you explain that to a child?
What I do know is that it’s up to us to do better. To take responsibility and get educated on how to talk to kids, and also understand that really sometimes you don’t need to talk to kids about everything. Let them be kids, just do your job and protect them. I wrote about how to care for yound ones here (you can check it out if you’re interested).
I can go on and on but I promised myself this was going to be a short one, so let me hang my rambling here. See ya!
PS: how far? Have you read the book? What did you think?