June 09, 2014

Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi | Book Review

Kweku Sai wakes up early in the morning, heads to his courtyard, and dies of a heart attack. He just dies right there in his garden. Face down on the dewy grass with a smile on his face. Father of four dead. Just like that. The news hits his family in Ghana and travels across the Atlantic to the United States where his children are scattered. Each child stops to reflect on the man who was. Together with his first wife and their four children, they tell the family story, piecing it together for us. Each person adding his/her vivid recollection of events. Each recollection and its detailed telling are an essential piece to the Sai family portrait. A portrait of a now broken family that was founded on love, hard work and hope.

Taiye Selasi is a gifted storyteller. Everything is just right. I love the way she moves back and forth in time to show how it all happened. She's very diligent in her portrayal of this shattered family. Every detail is rich, every character pulsates, it's all flawless. It won't be long before readers start screaming Taiye's name. Ghana Must Go is Taiye's ticket into the ranks of respected authors from the African continent and beyond. Like a rising sun over an already well-populated landscape of authors, Taiye is fresh, formidable, and immensely inspiring. I'm a big fan. More Ms. Selasi! More!

[Image via Goodreads]

June 04, 2014

Goodbye Lucille by Segun Afolabi | Book Review

Vincent is a fat, lazy Nigerian residing in Berlin, Germany. He works as a photographer, freelance for the most part, and he's bereft of any professional aspirations. He's reluctant to commit to even the most simple of things. He does just enough work to get by and in his free time he relaxes with his colorful troop of friends, clubbing, drinking, and passing time. He's a sharp contrast to his elder brother Matty,  a successful accountant and family man who lives in London. Vincent's relationship with his girlfriend Lucille doesn't seem to be going anywhere and they both know it. So, there Vincent is, in Berlin, living this thing called life.

I found Goodbye Lucille quite interesting. Don't worry it's not all about Lucille in that blind lovey-dovey way. This tale by Segun Afolabi is not riveting or spectacular but it's pretty good. Goodbye Lucille had been stuck on my reading list for quite a while because I couldn't get through the first couple of pages without losing interest. Once I got through those pages it was much easier to stay interested in the novel's progress. Goodbye Lucille is a decent novel and I'm surprised that I really like it.

[Image via Goodreads]