Friday, June 27, 2014

QUICK REVIEW: Daughters Who Walk This Path by Yejide Kilanko


Spirited and intelligent, Morayo grows up surrounded by school friends and family in busy, modern-day Ibadan, Nigeria. An adoring little sister, their traditional parents, and a host of aunties and cousins make Morayo's home their own. So there's nothing unusual about her charming but troubled cousin Bros T moving in with the family. At first Morayo and her sister are delighted, but in her innocence, nothing prepares Morayo for the shameful secret Bros T forces upon her.

Thrust into a web of oppressive silence woven by the adults around her, Morayo must learn to fiercely protect herself and her sister from a legacy of silence many women in Morayo's family share. Only Aunty Morenike—once shielded by her own mother—provides Morayo with a safe home and a sense of female community that sustains her as she grows into a young woman in bustling, politically charged, often violent Nigeria.

Paperback, 329 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Penguin Canada
ISBN 0143186116 (ISBN13: 9780143186113)

About the Author
from Goodreads

Yejide Kilanko was born in Ibadan, a sprawling university city in south-western Nigeria. She read just about anything she could lay her hands on and that love for reading led her to poetry writing when she was twelve. It was the best way she made sense of the long, angst-filled teenage and young adult years that followed.

After a big, loud, African wedding, she joined her husband in Maryland, USA. For a decade she stayed home to raise their three children, moved to Canada and went back to school to become a social worker.

Yejide started writing her debut novel, Daughters Who Walk This Path, in 2009 and it was published in Canada (2012) and in the USA (2013). Prior to 2009, she didn't think she could write a novel, so she’s living proof that life can bring new dreams when least expected.

Yejide currently lives in Chatham, Ontario, where she's working hard on her second novel. Set in Nigeria and the USA, the novel will be released spring of 2014.

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My Thoughts
My first memory was of Eniayo. I was five years old. 

This story takes place in the city of Ibadan in Nigeria.
Attribution: Dassiebtekreuz at en.wikipedia
This story follows the life of Morayo, a young girl growing up in the city of Ibadan. Her little sister Eniayo is albino, and she has to deal with a certain amount of ridicule and discrimination due to her condition, especially since it is believed that albino children bring bad luck, or are a symbol of God's punishment on the family.

There is a tragic event involving Morayo and her cousin Bros T which leaves her world shaken, but she recovers with the help of her aunt Morenike, who herself suffered a tragic event as a teenager.
“Run away the instant a stranger offers you a smile,” Mummy would tell us. But no one told us that sometimes evil is found much closer to home, and that those who want to harm us can have the most soothing and familiar of voices. (p.23)
I loved the way this book gave me a taste of the culture and lifestyles of the people of Nigeria. There is a formality to relationships, in the way that the younger people bow down and prostrate themselves in greeting and respect to their elders. Even the way that wives and husbands refer to one another…
...while her mother laughed happily and knelt in front of her husband. “Daddy Ibeji, thank you. May you live to enjoy the fruits of your labour over these children.” (p. 137)
My final word: A sweet and tragic exploration of the Nigerian culture through the eyes of a young girl growing into a woman.
Aunty Morinike had explained that the sentence carved in the plaque was a quote from Nadine Gordimer. I whispered the words under my breath: “The truth isn’t always beauty. But the hunger for it is.”

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I received a copy of this book to review through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel. The book that I received was an uncorrected proof, and quotes could differ from the final release. 

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