The Miseducation of Obi Ifeanyi
Education is not only in school because we also learn from our family, culture, and environment. Traditions, beliefs, and upbringings in many homes are different. Being an immigrant in America is proof of that, and recognizing it can give you a new perspective on life. The Miseducation of Obi Ifeanyi shows the daily life of a Nigerian-American man who discovers himself amidst the contradictions of life. Obi tries to balance family, work, and ideological responsibilities. He soon faces reality and realizes that generational customs are changing. He goes through life reflecting on situations in search of realistic expectations for his life. In this way, Chinedu Achebe demonstrates how education and society change, evolve and adapt.
Obi learns that marriages are relationships that do not always meet people’s expectations. Every family has its secrets, and Obi’s is no exception. As I continued reading on, I learned that Obi and Nkechi are not the perfect couple that they like to portray to others, and Obi is struggling to be a better husband. The tension and drama build when Sade and Tamika enter the picture as Obi has to battle with temptation, leaving the reader wondering how Obi will handle this situation.
I found it interesting that Obama’s re-election is discussed by Obi and it shows how politics affect our lives. This made for a relatable read because many readers have experienced what Obi is experiencing, from having to pay for daycare, healthcare, and the worries of a stagnant economy and how people are wary of Obama’s policies affecting our decisions life to care for our families. Nkechu is a character that some will either love or hate because, on the outside, she is a strong woman who is trying to find her footing as a new mother and have a career, all while still trying to have a healthy marriage. Still, on the inside, she is really insecure, which begins to take a toll on their marriage. I felt that Obi needed a better support system, especially regarding his needing advice on marriage.
Chinedu Achebe emphasizes the effort of Nigerian immigrants to integrate into a community, all while trying to hold on to past traditions as well as create new traditions. I recommend The Miseducation of Obi Ifeanyi to those who are looking for realistic and current fiction that focuses on family, culture, and politics.
Pages: 228 | ASIN : B076KP1GWX
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: african literature, author, Black and African American Literature, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Chinedu Achebe, ebook, fiction, goodreads, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, The Miseducation of Obi Ifeanyi, writer, writing
When Life is Like a Dream
When Life is Like A Dream is one of six plays that Phillip Methula has written on the difficult topic of apartheid in South Africa.
If the play has a main character, it is Aladam. Aladam is a human rights activist who has spent years imprisoned for opposing racial discrimination in South Africa. The play begins as he spends his last night in prison dreaming of the struggles his people have faced over the years.
As Aladam represents the black perspective, his opposite, Namein is the South African leader tasked with keeping the peace. He must keep his white population happy while always trying to quell the black uprising. Unfortunately, this lands him in deep water when he is called a race traitor for trying to appease the black protestors. Namein’s genuine opinions and beliefs aren’t always clear as a career politician.
While the play has 9 named main characters, there are over 30 unnamed “minor” characters. The main characters are all interesting, but these minor characters are the most important. Race is an issue that affects everyone. It is through these side characters that Methula best shows the opposing points of view of both sides. While the play rightly villainizes racism, Methula is careful to paint the racist white South Africans as humans with their own thoughts and feelings. Their fear, as the status quo that so benefits them is challenged, is palpable. There are no cartoon villains here.
The play has five acts that revolve around separate issues, which all connect to the overarching theme of racism in South Africa. The section covering a fever is particularly interesting. As a fever starts killing indiscriminately, racial paranoia is ramped up. It shows perfectly how people’s prejudices can stop them from working together as both sides point the finger of blame at the other.
While the play deals with heavy themes, Methula’s writing stops the play from ever being too preachy. His characters feel real, showing humor even in the darkest of times. When Life is Like a Dream is an excellent choice for anyone interested in learning about this troubling period of history. You’ll come away from it well informed, entertained, and wiser.
Pages: 290 | ASIN : B07PMJV6J1
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
Tags: african literature, author, black author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, Phillip Methula, play, read, reader, reading, story, When Life is Like a Dream, writer, writing
Akil and Jafari
Akil and Jafari (Volume 1-4) by Ayura Ayira is a story about two boys who are childhood best friends turned rivals. Despite his health issues, life was better for Akil Chistopher than for many others, including Jafari Omar, but he still wanted more. With dreams of escaping a life of poverty in Africa and going to America, the pair hope to gain money and fame by becoming professional mixed martial arts fighters. But then a series of poor decisions leads to Akil accidentally shooting and killing his father. Jafari takes the blame and ends up sentenced to seven years in juvenile detention for the fatal shooting. Will the forced separation caused by the dark secret they share turn out to be the end of their friendship?
I liked the interactions and banter between Akil and Jafari when they were kids and missed that lighthearted tone and bits of humor during the rest of the story after events seemed to place a wedge between the two. I also liked the aspect of the story where the ghost of Akil’s father visited him and offered him encouragement when he needed it most. The story had a happy ending, which I was glad to see after all the struggle and strife that Akil and Jafari went through.
While I enjoyed this impassioned and thoughtful story, I felt that it ended abruptly. I wanted to know what happened after the two former friends were finally reunited, and to learn a bit more details about Jafari’s motivations for his actions. The story was told from Akil’s point of view, but I would have liked to see parts of the story from Jafari’s point of view, as well.
The focus on their close friendship in the beginning, which was my favorite part of the story, seemed to be replaced by a love interest for Akil in later parts of the book, giving this novel a surprising romantic element.
Akil and Jafari is a riveting story that will appeal to readers looking for a rousing and dramatic book of two intriguing men who face adversity in different ways.
Pages: 179 | ASIN: B09B2ZJQXN
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: african american, african literature, Akil and Jafari, author, AYURA AYIRA, biographical fiction, biography, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, family saga, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, memoir, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, writer, writing
Peace in the Abyss
Peace In The Abyss by Tayo Emmanuel, is the emotionally charged story of Preye Banigo, an independent and successful business owner. Preye decides, under friend and family pressure, to finally marry at age forty. Timi Coker proposes and Preye realizes she wants to marry him and start a family right away. Preye soon learns Timi wants her to behave like his mother, succumb to all his demands and accept his authority without question on all matters. Preye tries to do as her new husband requires, but before long realizes her choice has led her to justify actions from Timi others would never tolerate.
Author Tayo Emmanuel has created impassioned and authentic characters that I was able to easily relate to. Preye’s emotions are conveyed in beautiful but simple language that touched me in a compassionate way even though Timi Coker’s actions annoyed me to no end. This contrast between characters kept me flipping pages and rooting for Preye.
Peace In The Abyss is packed with fantastically melodramatic character conflicts and relationships that are explored and picked apart in very engaging ways throughout the story. The exotic setting of Nigeria serves as a beautiful setting to this story and I loved how it showed life in Africa. Preye’s successful career as a business owner, and respectable relationship with friends and family in Africa adds to her endearing yet strong nature to be the woman she wants to be. The repeated antics of Timi depicted Preye as a long-suffering character. The tension and emotions escalating between Preye and Timi is as timely and prevalent in relationships in all countries. I truly felt the impact of Preye losing her individuality because of the fantastic storytelling. The characters are relatable and the story is filled with interesting scenarios that kept me intrigued.
Peace In The Abyss is a stirring women’s fiction story that explores a captivating character and provides readers with a heartrending yet sentimental tale.
Pages: 254 | ASIN: B098F6QYTM
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: african america, african literature, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, Peace in the Abyss, read, reader, reading, romance, story, Tayo Emmanuel, womens ficiton, writer, writing