Note: I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Eighteen-year-old Ejituru’s dream of completing a medical degree in her own country of Nigeria and becoming a doctor was shattered when her father arranged a marriage between her and an older man named Ignatius who had emigrated to the US some years ago and who she only met for a few hours.
Not wanting her father to lose face in the village, Ejituru reluctantly agrees to drop out of college in Nigeria and move to the US to marry Ignatius. The marriage proves rocky as each wants something else. Ejituru gradually realizes that things are not what they seem and Ignatius is not the rich man that he has led the family to believe. Ignatius finds that Ejituru is not really the subservient and docile wife that he can control.
(Summary via Amazon)
This book covers so many important issues: culture clashes, sexism, human trafficking, marriage, education, and so much more. Ejituru is a Nigerian girl who longs to finish medical school, but her father wants her to marry Ignatius, who wishes for a family, and move to the US. Since Ignatius is 35 and Ejituru is 18, their ideas about marriage, education, and Nigerian culture clash.
One of the things I appreciated most about this book is that the author does not paint either Ignatius or Ejituru as totally blameless. I have a natural bias toward supporting oppressed females, but the author makes it clear that Ignatius, even though he does some terrible things and lies to his family and Ejituru about his true life in the US, is not all bad. Ejituru shares some of the blame in how quickly their arranged marriage goes downhill. I did find myself getting frustrated with the couple though, as neither one was good at communicating or negotiating for their needs and wishes.
This book offers a fascinating look into modern-day Nigerian life and the clash of traditional culture with modern ideas about relationships and careers for both men and women. Definitely worth a look if you’re interested in learning a bit more about Nigerian culture.
Rating: Pretty Darn Good