Cover Image: Nightbloom


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Member Reviews

I loved this book about girls growing up in Nigeria who grow apart as they get older.  Told in alternating points of view, we see one girl go to college and live in American while still harboring a secret.  The second girl stays in Africa and opens a successful business, but is resentful of her friend and is also harboring her own secret.  The third section takes place in Africa when the first girl comes home for a funeral.
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I learned so much culture throughout this book that I truly loved and I think it's an important story, but I found the pacing and plot to be too slow to maintain momentum. I wish the book had been edited to create more momentum to propel the reader through the story.
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Wow. What a beautiful journey. The author tackled difficult subjects in an intriguing way. The format of the way the story was told worked for me. I enjoyed learning more about Ghanaian culture and the American Dream vs African Dream. Easily one of the best books I read this year.
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Nightbloom by Peace Adzo Medie is set primarily in Ghana with part of the story in the author’s hometown of Ho. The novel - told through dual points of view - traces the lives of two cousins and their differing paths.

Akorfa and Selasi were born on the same day. They are friends and frequent playmates until Selasi’s mother dies and Akorfa’s family moves to Accra. Selasi’s life in Ho changes dramatically by the time she is allowed to visit Akorfa in Accra. No longer enrolled in private school and sent to live with her grandmother in the family compound, Selasi grows up with little supervision and opportunity. Akorfa, in contrast, is raised strictly by her mother and is focused on getting into the best school and becoming a doctor. When the cousins reunite after three years apart, the cracks in their relationship start to form.

While most dual POV stories alternate perspectives between chapters, Nightbloom is told in three parts. The first 130 pages are narrated by Akorfa, then we revisit the same timeline through Selasi’s eyes. The final chapters are told by both characters after reuniting in adulthood.

I was fortunate to attend an event with the author. She told the audience that she had set out to write a story about memory. How two people can experience the same moment yet believe two wholly different truths.

Nightbloom explores this idea of memory through the lens of generational trauma. What do we owe our families? Are we forever indebted for the support we’ve received? And how does our history blind us to the truth in the present?

Peace Adzo Medie has written vivid characters in a story you can easily sink into. Nightbloom would be a wonderful book club pick and a great choice for readers who enjoy fiction set within different cultures.

*Readers may want to check trigger warnings*

Thank you to Algonquin Books and NetGalley for this ARC. I enjoyed the book so much that I also purchased a copy when I met the author.
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Anouther great book by Peace Adzo Medie. I really enjoyed this book and the character development was very well done. I enjoyed the different story perspective from both main characters telling each others POV for the same timeline. It gives you more insight into how each character interprets events and people they encountered. Realizing what you think you know may not in fact be the right story. 
This story once again highlights cultural differences and hierarchy in cultures.  I was totally engrossed in the story and found it hard to put down. 

I received a free advanced copy from NetGalley and all opinions are my own 

I would recommend this book to friends, family and my book clubs
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I had to sit with this one for a little bit. I wasn't fully invested in the story until the third act when we got into Selasi's POV. This was one of the books I anticipated reading the most this year, but it left me a little underwhelmed. Overall though, I was still invested in the story from beginning to end and what we learn of Selasi, Akorfa, and her mother from their dual perspective. Akorfa and Selasi's story was compelling enough but it just wasn't very impressionable for me.
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A truly touching, deep story set in Ghana. I initially found it difficult to get into, but the story and relationship between Selasi and Akorfa eventually drew me in and I thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful story.
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This was amazing! I enjoyed how the author split the points of view; it made for a creative, eye opening style of story telling. I loved the protagonist and the author's writing style!
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I devoured this book. From the very first page I was hooked: I could hear Akorfa's voice in my ear and I just knew I had to continue listening. 

I was a bit thrown off when we switch to Selasie's POV so late in the book, and were made to recap from the beginning. There was so much to encounter again, and perhaps alternating chapters may have been helpful. 

Overall, the story is riveting and I really enjoyed it.
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This was very YA-ish to me. I liked it, but after about 30% I was a bit tired of it. I've read quite a few books about coming of age of young girls from Africa, and while I love reading about different cultures, they are starting to blend to me. I may finish this later. Will read more from this author, though. I like her style a lot!
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Akorfa and Selasi are cousins who grow up together but their paths diverge as they get older. Extremely close when young, outside pressures cause them to become distant and gradually come to dislike each other and cut off communication. The first part of the book covers events from Akorfa's point of view, while the second part covers Selasi's and the final part is from both their perspectives. It would have been a little better if the events had alternated between the two since when it came to Selasi's, it went right back to the beginning. At times it was very frustrating to read since there was so much miscommunication and everyone had their own interpretation of what happened. Many traumatic events were covered up under the guise of saving the family's reputation or just because they didn't believe either Selasi or Akorfa. Overall, it was well-written and the setting was very descriptive both in Ghana and America.
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3.5 stars rounded up

I loved Medie’s debut, His Only Wife, so I was excited to pick up her sophomore novel, Nightbloom. An interesting part about this book is it’s structure. It’s told in three parts: Akorfa’s pov, Selasi’s pov, and then both of their points of view.

Akorfa and Selasi are cousins. They are very close; their lives have always been entertained. But as they got older and opportunities changed for each of them, they drifted apart and became strangers to one another.

Through the uniques structure of the book, readers are really given the chance to see how perspectives can alter one’s experiences. There are different interpretations, miscommunications, and hurt feelings. I loved this aspect of the novel!

Overall though, this one missed the mark more than it hit for me. I felt like the structure, though unique and brave, slowed the pace down and made the time lines feel disjointed. I would have prefer to hear alternating viewpoints of the events as opposed to trying to remember how it all got together later.

It’s clear that Medie is talented, and I really believe you can see how much her writing has matured. I will be anxious to see what she writes next!
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3.5 stars

* Smooth, lyric prose 
* Pittsburgh 
* I feel like I’ve read this story before - boarding school in Africa and then to America for college, and there is racism in America
Thank you to Peace Adzo Medie, Algonquin Books, and NetGalley for an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review
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A great read about growing up and growing apart. Love that it was so relatable to my childhood.I also enjoyed the writing style of the novel.
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'... their past hung between them like a curtain through which they could only see an outline of each other, a silhouette.' 

I had previously enjoyed Peace Adzo Medie’s debut novel His Only Wife so I was delighted when I was approved for the ARC of her latest Nightbloom. In Nightbloom we see two cousins—Akorfa and Selasi, who from a young age, had forged a deep friendship in their village in Ghana. A series of events in their young adult years result in them growing apart, both physically and emotionally, until they become mere strangers to one another. The story follows each girl/woman's perspective as young children through adolescence and into adulthood, marking their hardships, losses, and triumphs along the way. A tragic commonality in their later years eventually brings them back together to confront their past and forge a new way forward together.

The format of the novel actually worked quite well for me. In a departure from the usual alternating narrations, which are usually told in alternating succession of chapters, Medie tells the entire story from Akorfa’s perspective first, and then re-tells the entire story from Selasi’s perspective. The conclusion is then shared by both points of view together. I think this worked very well because it allows the reader to form a bias that may initially favor Akorfa, but is then challenged by the retelling from the perspective from Selasi. This format was also successful in illustrating the differences between the two girls in relation to familial relationships, class, privilege, education and wealth, which were central themes throughout the story. 

Peace Adzo Medie is a gifted storyteller, and I look forward to seeing what she writes next!

Thank you to Algonquin Books and NetGalley for this ARC. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
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This book is set in Ghana and is about Selasi and Akorfa. They grow up together as not only best friends, but cousins. Their bond seems unbreakable, until they slowly start drifting away from each other. What will it take to bring them back together?

I really enjoyed this book! I was immediately hooked from the very beginning and couldn't put it down. I know it seemed to bother readers that the author didn't use alternating chapters, but I don't think it was necessary. I think the long POVs split into two parts worked very well with the story.

Make sure you pay attention to Akorfa's POV, which you will read first (40%). Selasi will go over the same events in her POV for the next 50% of the book. Then, you get to see from both POVs for the last 10% of the book.
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I absolutely ADORED Peace Adzo Medie's debut novel, His Only Wife, in 2020, so I was overjoyed to receive a Netgalley of her next one, Nightbloom. Unfortunately Nightbloom was a disappointment. It was far too long and overly explained (telling rather than showing), particularly around the issues that the author (and I ) care about (gender equality, violence against women and girls, etc.).

I did like the narrative shift halfway through. I enjoyed Selasi's story much more than Akorfa's. I could not stand Akorfa as a character and I did not empathize with her at all which is what I felt like the author was trying to get the reader to do.
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Great read.  Thanks to Algonquinbooks and Netgalley for the early copy in exchange for a review.  I really enjoyed the relationship between the cousins in this one and how their dynamics shifted based on money and class of their families.
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Nightbloom by Peace Adzo Medie 

This was an interesting book, that centered the struggles of women in Ghana in a different way than Medie’s first book, His Only Wife. At its heart, this book is the story of two cousins, Akorfa and Selasie, who are the best of friends as young girls and then as their lives take different twists and turns they grow apart. 

I think the author has done some interesting things playing with perspective and unreliable narrators in the different parts of this book, however I generally was not very impressed with the writing. I considered putting the book down at multiple times in the first half, but I’m glad I kept reading because the second half redeemed the book in my opinion. 

For me, Selassie’s story was by far the more interesting of the two cousins, and I almost wish this book was just about her. I would have loved to dive more into her life, especially as an adult and entrepreneur.

Peace Adzo Medie clearly has strong feelings about gender roles and women’s rights, and at some points in this book I felt like she was hitting us over the head with these thematic lessons a little too emphatically. The story felt a bit contrived at points, seemingly because she was trying to include these topics. 

I do think the book highlighted some interesting issues of class, gender, corruption and our responsibility to others in our lives. Overall, I’m glad I read the book but i wish it would have started stronger as Akorfa’s section almost caused me to stop reading.
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DNFed about a quarter a way in. This just dragged on. It was boring but her previous book was much better,
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