Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman by Ogo Akubue-Ogbata

Nikiru is born into a wealthy Nigerian family.  She is able to attend a private boarding school with her sister, Nonso.  Born into privilege, she feels secure but finds out how fragile security is when her father dies, leaving her with a stepmother who hates her and her sister.

Farmed out to relatives, Nikiru reaches down within herself and finds a way to get back to school.  She finds she has a passion for engineering; an innate ability to make mechanical items work.  While at school, she meets and falls in love with Ejimonye, a political science major.  They marry, and the book follows their lives; their triumphs and failures and children and love and disasters that befall them.

Ogo Akubue-Ogbata has created a special viewpoint into the African experience of the last half of the twentieth century.  Set in Nigeria, the book also follows events in Sierra Leone and Uganda.  The reader is able to view colonism from the viewpoint of those colonized, and how that colonization reaches its grasp into everyday life of those who endured it.  It also shows the similarity that all women share in life as they grow up, fall in love, marry and have children in their turn, often while trying to balance family and work.  This book is recommended for readers who are interested in African history, and for those who enjoy family sagas.

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