Imagine This was published by Cassava Republic in 2009 and ten years later, I found it, read it and would love to share its good news because this might be one of the best YA book ever written by a Nigerian. Seriously.
Category: Young Adult, African Fiction
Publisher: Cassava Republic
Length: 266 pages
“Imagine This” Blurb
It is 1977 when nine-year-old Lola Ogunwole is wrenched from all that is familiar in London and thrust into an alien culture. Abandoned by her father and separated from her brother, Lola must adjust to living without the basic necessities, where a drink of water entails a six-mile trek into the bushes. Unable to speak the language and spurned by her relatives, Lola struggles to find her identity in a place where she doesn’t quite fit.
Should You Bother Reading “Imagine This”?
Can YOU imagine this: being taken away from all that you hold dear, all you love and being dumped into an environment that is unfriendly, frightening, and so incredibly different from all that you know. Just imagine that for a bit.
This is exactly what happens to nine-year-old Lola Ogunwole. I know this book was published ten years ago but I’m still not going to drop spoilers.
P.S My summary of the plot does not do the scope of this novel justice. The novel is told in diary format, but what we are really reading is Lola’s journal; her inner thoughts, her inner demons are poured out onto the page for all of us to read.
I can’t express how good, how utterly fascinating, this novel is. The fact that this is Adeniran’s first novel is mindblowing. There is so much depth, so much feeling and emotion that it is hard to believe I’m not reading the work of a seasoned writer. Imagine This is pure, unadulterated storytelling.
Because it’s told in a diary format, after a while I forgot I was reading a novel and could picture Lola scratching away in her diary. I felt I could reach out and touch her.
Few authors are able to render a character so completely. Lola becomes not just a character on a page or words on paper. She lives and breathes alongside you as you read her story. It’s hard to believe that I can’t reach out and touch her. This is the power of Adeniran’s amazing first novel. Imagine
This is not just a story, not just a novel. It’s about having the courage to face obstacles head on. It’s about finding the strength to survive and succeed. But most of all, Imagine This is about the triumph of the heart.
I am recommending the book to you with all my love. Your heart will thank you for it. It’s available for purchase HERE
About The Author
Sade Adeniran was born in London, England, and at the age of eight was taken back to her father’s village in Nigeria, spending her formative years living with her grandmother in Idogun, Ondo State, before returning to the UK.
In answer to whether the story is autobiographical, Adeniran says her response is always: “‘It is and it isn’t’. Some things in the book are based on real incidents. That village was where I grew up, but what happens to the character Lola is not what happened to me.”
The novel won the 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book. She also features in the New Daughters Of Africa(An International Anthology Of Writing By Women Of African Descent) edited by Margaret Busby.
For more book reviews and bookish features, share this post and subscribe below!