Three more books till the end of the challenge!
Welcome back to book review session of the blog! I really hope you have been keeping up with the #ReadingChallenge? And if you haven’t, there is always next year! These reviews will be published weekly now because I’m super eager to wrap up the challenge, but I do post other books that I’m reading on Instagram, so you should definitely check out @lipglossmaffia for more book recommendations and reviews. I have also started a virtual bookclub on Whatsapp, if you would like to join, just send me an email with your phone number at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For me twenty-third pick, I chose…
*Read A Book You Read In High School
Title: The Concubine
Publisher: Longman Publishing Group
My Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars
BLURB: Ihuoma, a beautiful young widow, has the admiration of the entire community in which she lives, and especially of the hunter Ekwueme. But their passion is fated and jealousy, a love potion and the closeness of the spirit world are important factors.
I hate that I couldn’t find my secondary school copy, so I had to get the eBook. I have always loved this story, it’s a tragic story that is so well written, it will make you cry.
The Concubine is a simple story, and yet somehow spellbinding. Amadi has a rare talent for building up his characters through realistic, naturally flowing conversations and has a sense of how people react to different situations. He is clearly proud of his culture and wants to tell the reader about it, but refrains from lavishing extended explanations of African life and society that too many novels force on the reader. Rather, Amadi focuses on telling his story purely and directly, and the insights into the village’s way of life follow naturally.
And what marvelous insights they are. Amadi is, if nothing else, an honest writer. He is certainly aware of the Western world’s unfavorable views on sexism, wife-beating, and superstition, and he acknowledges that some of these are wrong (he makes no apologies for the superstition). However, he does very well to show how precarious these villagers situation is, and the reader comes to understand that their culture is a result of their circumstances. He doesn’t make excuses for his people’s flaws, but he gently reminds the reader that they should not judge people from such a radically different culture until they have experienced it themselves.
Ultimately he treats both his readers and his characters with respect. The best of his characters, though unashamedly primitive, are dignified, considerate, and moral, while those who are not are ostracized from the community. Ihuoma’s displays of grace and composure in trying circumstances are moving. Ekwueme, on the other hand, is far from perfect, but he’s likable and his flaws give him humanity. It seems odd to say that I could relate to the plight of someone living in a mud hut in Nigeria, but I felt like I understood this guy.
Unfortunately , I found the ending to be extremely abrupt, although that may have been intentional. Nevertheless, I have a feeling this will be on of those stories that sticks with me. I’ll probably reread The Concubine several times in my lifetime to reenter Amadi’s world and enjoy his refreshingly direct, understated prose.
Highly recommended read!
I hope you found the post interesting. Let’s connect more on social media.
Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest // Bloglovin’ // Instagram
Have You Checked Out: