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Because Home Is... - Chioma Nnani
Some say that "Everyone is running from, or towards something". But you run till you get 'home'. Everyone wants to go home.
A UK returnee to Nigeria reflects on the role of the rejection of both her parents, in shaping her life. A couple on the verge of their 24th wedding anniversary take time to make the distinction between what is and what almost never was. A man surrounded or influenced by women - seen through the prism created by his own demons - desperately tries to find peace. An immigrant to Nigeria recalls the "journey of ones" that brought her to the Royal Albert Hall in London, years after losing her mentor to cancer.
With themes of effects of parental rejection and abandonment, trying to fit into certain spaces to make others comfortable, struggling with feelings of not being enough, the confusion and frustration of organised religion, and yearning for a love that fulfils even unspoken promises while encouraging you to be naked and unashamed - "Because Home Is" is a collection of short stories about finding home, going home, and being home.
Because 'home' is that person, thing, or place where you can be naked and unashamed.
Ifechidere – Chinedu Enechi
The loss of both her parents, even before she is old enough to speak, appears to pre-determine Ifechidere's life. She is made to toil from dusk to dawn.
Yet, Ifechidere is no modern-day Cinderella, as she finds that faith in the will to survive, which is stronger than any absentee fairy godmother, will propel her to find herself. And it'll lead her to the thing that was always meant to be …
Murder At Midnight – John Ukah
Alex Simpson, an ex-police officer, decides after a bout of typhoid fever to take a break in a serene and therapeutic environment. The last thing he expects is to be called upon to solve a murder at the Kinging Guest Lodge. But that is what happens, when the delectable and vivacious Maria Marshall is found dead in her bedroom, murdered at midnight.
The gallery of characters living at the guesthouse and thrown into the mix, do not make his task of solving this chilling and brutal murder any easier …
Survival – John Achile Yusuf
When the plane carrying a group of Nigerian students to South Africa for the annual African Colleges Competition, crashes into a Congolese jungle instead, there's a lot at stake. These students were chosen to represent the nation, because of their academic brilliance and sportsmanship; their ability to beat competitors is the reason they are their country's hope.
But in the jungle, there are different sets of rules … and some are being made up along the way. Thrust by Fate into hostile territory, it's not just a question of "who" will survive. There's also the issue of "what" – their friendships, innocence, sanity, sense of right and wrong, and hopes for the future.
Forever There For You – Chioma Nnani
When NADINE is confronted with the reality of her failing marriage, her first instinct is to work it out. She has had it drummed into her that marriage is ‘for better, for worse’. Walking out is just not an option - her faith would condemn her and her culture would make her a pariah.
The combination of Nadine’s background, education, social standing, friendships, faith, experiences and past relationships is meant to equip her to become a success. Failure is alien to her and love means forgiving at all cost.
As she tries to survive and make the most of the curves that life has thrown her, she discovers that a subjective term, and ‘happily ever after’ is something that you have to discover and define for yourself
Murder At Midnight
This is a short mystery set in Nigeria. This is important to note since the language and flow of the book is written by someone that is multi-lingual so it might seem stilted if you only speak one language. There were some phrases that confused me because I am from the US and the wording was not what I was used to reading. For example, we use the phrase "million dollar question" and the book has it as "million Naira question". Naira is the currency in Nigeria so it would make sense to use that versus dollars since the book is not set in the US.
The cast of suspects is small but the author did a good job of leading the reader down multiple paths until the killer was revealed. It was quite surprising because this was one character I didn't suspect. I felt that the author did a good job describing the scenery and I was able to picture the various characters in my mind.
If you are looking for a short read this might be a good choice. We give this 3 1/2 paws. - StoreyBook Reviews
In Murder at Midnight, Alex Simpson is an ex-police officer who decides he needs a break from work, and heads over to the Kinging Guest Lodge for some much deserved relaxation. Unfortunately, he’s not there for long before he’s called upon to solve a murder when a woman is found dead in her bedroom at night.
There’s a lot of tension between all the characters involved. Considering the story takes place in the Kinging Guest Lodge, we know the possible suspects right away, but it’s hard to determine who of them has actually done it. Through some clever twists and turns, and a surprising revelation toward the end, the author kept me entertained as I tried to figure out who the murderer was. I usually manage to figure out the culprit’s identity quickly, which kind of ruins the surprise for me, but not so here – this plot kept me guessing.
It’s quite a short book (75 pages on my Kindle), so it’s a fast read but it’s still an enjoyable, suspenseful book. Recommended to fans of cozy mysteries. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. - Majanka
Ifechidere is a thought-provoking novel that instantly grips the reader’s interest through its brutal storyline and frank writing. The novel follows Ifechi, a sweet nine-year old girl who lives with wicked aunt and uncle after the death of her parents’ years earlier. Ifechi is treated little better than a slave: if she does not complete her “chores” on time, she is gleefully punished by her sadistic aunt. But Ifechi is loved by some in the community, including Ifechukwu, the headmaster at the local school. It is through Ifechukwu’s love and guidance that Ifechi is able to escape her uncle’s cruel home and enter the world of education to make something of herself. Ifechidere is no modern-day Cinderella, but her faith and her belief in a better life drives her towards a happier life. What stands out immediately is how vicious the plot of Ifechidere is. Enechi’s forthright discourse allows for the dark tone of the book to distinctively stand out. If you are soft of heart, and can’t abide reading about terrible things happening to children, you might struggle with Ifechidere. I certainly struggled for most the book, but it was still heartening to see Ifechi eventually make something of herself. I was on the verge of tears reading about how excited she was on the journey to Enugu, believing something so ordinary to be extraordinary. While Ifechi is the main protagonist, the novel is as much her cousins’, Onukwabe and Afoma, story as it is Ifechi’s. Onukwabe, after the karmic death of his parents, attempts to steal from the community and is banished from the town. He turns to a life of crime and starts his own gang, remnant of Robin Hood – stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Afoma gets her law degree and eventually seeks out Ifechi. Ifechi and Afoma were uplifting characters and worthy role models, able to utilise their education to make a comfortable, prosperous, and happy life for themselves. I was surprised by how much I came to like Onukwabe’s character. Certainly, at the beginning of the novel, I despised him, along with his parents, due to the way they treated Ifechi. But the further the story developed, the more I warmed to him. His story ends tragically but it was hopeful, too, in how much he achieved considering his life of crime. Faith is the strongest element of the novel. Each character believes in a higher power and the importance of living one’s life according to their god and for goodness. Some characters’ struggle with this, with faith and living a righteous life, but find their way eventually through love and acceptance. The novel did struggle with the development of the plot. The scenes did not flow accurately; rather they felt jagged and unarranged. Sometimes it was difficult to comprehend what was taking place and at which time, as scenes from the past would suddenly appear in the present. Occasionally, this would affect my emotional connection with the text, as I would reread a passage a few times, but I was generally able to enjoy my reading experience for a majority of the novel. Overall, Ifechidere was a harsh but hopeful novel. The book challenged my perceptions of African culture, as well as the role of women within the community. - Laura
Forever There For You
Lovely Piece. Read it, loved it, smiled, cried etc it's a really nice piece. I am still reeling from the after effect of this book. once i started reading,I couldn't put the book down. I have a full time job, 3 kids under the age of five and was still able to find time to finish the book in less than 2 days. I'd say the book speaks for its self – Openball (Amazon)
Haunting Food For Thought. Forever There for You by Chiama Nnani is both enlightening and troubling. The first ominous chapter gives way to a lighter narrative in the early chapters about a young, privileged Nigerian teen who becomes an international student in the UK. Threads of humor run through her experiences with some of the typical cultural shocks that come with climate, language, and food. The author’s apt descriptions and dialog add realism to the story lines and her characters are credible and multidimensional, which adds to the themes as the plot line becomes more serious and darker. The issues of culture, race, gender, religion, and family all come into play as we follow the main character through several formative years of her young adult life. The subtitle of the book is “when everyone in her life let her down.” The story of how that happens becomes very complex, providing the reader with haunting food for thought. This book is a good read for individuals but would also have value for book groups or classes. There is a great deal in the book worthy of discussion. - Kay Blue (Amazon)