Writer: Lesley Nneka Arimah
Publishing House: Riverhead Books
Date of Publication: April 4th 2017
Rating: 5 stars
‘’Girls with fire in their bellies will be forced to drink from a well of correction till the flames die out.’’
In this outstanding collection by the Nigerian writer Leslie Nneka Arimah, family is examined in all its forms. Family means unconditional love and protection. But there is a very fine, fragile line between protection and asphyxiation, between love and care and the deep wish for absolute dominion over the life of your children. Motherhood acquires centre stage and is seen in a realistic, even raw, light. We meet mothers who nurture and protect, mothers who oppress, mothers who exploit. And most importantly, we meet daughters whose cry of independence and the right to decide their course echoes through the pages of one of the most exceptional books I’ve ever had the fortune to read.
This collection is as ferocious as life itself.
The Future Looks Good: We meet a young woman as she is about to unlock the door of an apartment. Through her eyes, we see her family. Her parents, her elder sister. We encounter the hell of the war in Nigeria and the various labours of love. But nothing, nothing can prepare us for the end. An astonishing story in less than six pages.
War Stories: A girl narrates the story of the cruelty of children, the weakness of human nature, the nightmare of war, the secrets of a family. Powerful and moving.
Wild: A teenage girl is sent to stay with her aunt in Nigeria. There she has to face the wild nature of her cousin and a mysterious past. A story of motherhood, womanhood, and the repercussions of a cultural shock.
Light: A moving story about fatherhood and the special bond between a daughter and a father who raises his child alone. And a ‘’mother’’ who is anything but.
Second Chances: The loss of a mother has been haunting her eldest daughter for eight years. But what happens when she returns all of a sudden? Can the girl forgive and forget? Is such a thing even possible?
‘’There is a science to it, falling.’’
Windfalls: A despicable woman has found an abominable way to make money, abusing and exploiting her daughter. The wounds she has caused are unhealable. A shocking, poignant story of disastrous ‘’motherhood’’.
‘’Where are you going?
I am going home.
Who will greet you at home?
My mother will greet me.
What will your mother do?
My mother will bless me and my child.’’
Who Will Greet You At Home: Ιs there an equation to heal pain, war wounds and despair? A mathematician tries to help as many victims as she can. But in a world ravaged by floods that led to its destruction, falling is a reality…
Glory: A young woman has managed to escape her overbearing mother until the day her potential mother-in-law makes an appearance. Glory has to make a choice that involves her independence and the right to remain true to herself and not to the expectations of others.
‘’If you can’t please the gods, trick them.’’
What Is A Volcano?: A beautiful, haunting myth about the tragic feud between the goddess of rivers and the god of ants and the creation of volcanoes.
Redemption: A girl learns about the secrets and cruelty of the adult world and the way it corrupts even the children who try to escape misery and cruel ‘’families’’.
‘’How many people had Kioni worked with over the last decade? Five thousand? Ten? Ten thousand traumas in her psyche, squeezing past each other, vying for the attention of their host. What would happen if you couldn’t forget, if every emotion from every person whose grief you’d eaten came back up? It could happen, if something went wrong with the formula millions