Fifteen-year-old Kambili lives with her parents and older brother in a fancy house in Nigeria. Her father, a holy roller and successful businessman, rules with an iron fist, and everyone -- family members and servants alike -- perpetually walks on eggshells for fear of displeasing him. Upon visiting their aunt in another city, Kambili discovers that in other households family members actually laugh, joke and speak freely, and not every minute of their day is strictly scheduled. By the time they return home, both Kambili and Jaja are profoundly changed by their experiences, and things won't be quite how they used to.

It was an intriguing experience to learn about life in modern-day Nigeria, getting a peek into family traditions and traditional religion, as well as the political events occurring in the background. However, I found this an intriguing but difficult read -- from the moment of introduction to Kambili's father the reader gets a sense of something ominous lying in wait.

ryner's rating:
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