I am that girl, the one that reads. From an early age, reading has been a companion. I read everything from the Ladybird books, to Mills and Boon, magazines to books on the literature syllabus in school.
What we read evolves as we grow. I moved away from Mills and Boon and other rom coms to John C. Maxwell, Francine Rivers, books on Finance and Autobiographies. In 2018, I got a yearning to read African literature. A good friend bought me “Half of a Yellow Sun” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for my birthday. I remember that year, I only asked for books as presents.
From 2018 to-date, I have been very intentional about reading books by African authors on the continent and in the diaspora. It is so rewarding! When 2020 started, I desired to keep stock of my reading by blogging about it but I have clearly not done that 😂. Better late than never.
Here are my August book tales:
Daughters who walk this Path by Yejide Kilanko (an absolute favourite).
A coming of age book that I have deeply fallen in love with. I saw myself in Morayo and Aunty Morenike 😂. Bros T, Morayo`s cousin, forces a shameful secret onto Morayo who sits with it for a while until he threatens to force it onto her baby sister, Eniayo. Morayo struggles with guilt, pain and silence and emotional distress until she confides in until Aunty Morenike. She finds safety and healing and breaks the web of oppressive silence.
I understood the need for a safe space filled with women you can be vulnerable with as you go through life, women who have been where you are going and can walk with you through your process.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
The first book of a planned trilogy, the author weaves a tale of a world where people are suppressed for being different. Zélie, a heroine, attempts to restore magic to the kingdom of Orïsha, currently ruled by Kosidán. Kosidán brutally suppresses the magic practitioners that Zélie belongs to, the Maji.
The fear is real but so is courage for taking back what was stolen from the Maji. The book was an instant sensation in the US and now I understand why. The book harbours themes that have taken centre stage today; colourism, discrimination in all its forms, etc.
I enjoyed book one and I had to get book two immediately, Children of Virtue and Vengeance.
Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi
Book two was overwhelming. Zélie and Amari succeed in restoring magic to the land of Orïsha, but something goes wrong with the spell! The enemy is now as powerful, and yet Zélie struggles to unite the Maji. Her problems are bigger than that; there is a looming civil war. Zélie finds herself in a dilemma. The tension is everywhere.
I couldn’t sleep until I was done with the book. Inan reminded me of Professor Snape from Harry Potter, right from book one 😂. The ending of the book had me in a moment of silence. I surely hope there is book three.
In my view, both books revealed the state of affairs majorly in the US and the world. People have to fight for their freedom and when they almost have it, it’s taken away again. The war for freedom never ends.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Homegoing is a story about the lives of two sisters who are separated, one remains at the gold coast, the other is shipped off to America as a slave. Subsequent chapters track their lives and those of their descendants while revealing the sordid details of slave trade, the involvement of Africans and the White people.
This book brought to life my history class on the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and its effects on the people of Ghana. Back then, I never felt the weight of the trade on the natives. This book brought it to my doorstep. I was sad and angry at what the trade did to the people who stayed on the continent, those who were taken away and the children born out of the intermarriages between the White people and the Africans. They didn’t fully belong because they were neither their breed nor accepted entirely by either race 😢.
Have you read any of the books mentioned? What were your thoughts?