13 year-old Aku-nna and her little brother Nna-nndo live in the city of Lagos, Nigeria. While their mother Ma Blackie is away at the village Ibuza undergoing a ritual fertility treatment, their father Ezekiel Odia dies suddenly, and all is lost. I love the simple, straight-forward way Emecheta writes about this family's faults and virtues alike. The reader comes to know them, and feel for them, and gain a sense of respect for their way of life - the way Africans selflessly care for their neighbors, and the children of others, with decency and pride.
We root for Aku-nna and her one true love, we want her to enjoy the fruit of her academic labors, to escape the unsophisticated backwater ways of her family's village roots... but ultimately the book is a cautionary tale, via tribal ritual. Beautiful and haunting. Check Availability