Ogadinma by Ukamaka Olisakwe (book review)

OGADINMA Or, Everything Will Be All Right | Ukamaka Olisakwe

Writing a spoiler free review has never been as difficult as it was for me with this book.

Ogadinma Or, Everything Will be All Right is a tale of departure, loss and adaptation; of mothers who experience trauma at the hands of controlling men, leaving them with burdens they find too much to bear. After an episode of abuse results in exile from her family in Kano, thwarting her plans to go to university, seventeen-year-old Ogadinma is sent to her aunt’s house in Lagos. When a whirlwind romance with an older man descends into indignity, she is forced to channel her strength and resourcefulness to escape a fate that appears all but inevitable.

Publisher: The Indigo Press

Genre: Literary Fiction

Triggers: Abortion. Rape. Domestic Violence.

Rating: 4.5 stars

First Thoughts:

Ogadinma is a beautifully narrated novel . It is fast paced and relatable, so it is very easy to read. I couldn’t put it down.

I felt really bad that the heroine had to endure so much pain So, I easily understood why she makes a couple of hard choices down the line.

In all honesty, most of the characters were outright despicable. However, they are a harsh reminder of what is obtainable in real life. So, I guess the author’s message in creating them was well passed.

I didn’t like the ending of the book though. It felt rushed and seemed a bit cliche.

Highlights:

The book exposes the sneaky ways tradition, culture and religion have been used to socialize women into accepting patriarchy as a way of life.

I was impressed by the author’s ability to write about so much trauma and pain without depressing the reader. In creating such a young and inexperienced heroine, the author steers the reader away from victim blaming. Therefore, forcing the reader to focus their anger completely on the enablers and the perpetrators.

Would I recommend?

YES!

Like I said earlier, it tells a very traumatic story in a very uplifting style. There is a lot in the way Ogadinma is written to remind you of Buchi Emecheta and Flora Nwapa’s books.

So, if you enjoy feminist african literature, this is one for you.

Ogadinma- Ukamaka Olisakwe | BAJ Reviews

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

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