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Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Reader's Diary #2249 - Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia: The Son of the House

One of the five shortlisted books for this year's Giller prize, The Son of the House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia is likely to be my top pick (though I still need to finish Miriam Toews' Fight Night). 

Truly I loved every minute of it. Besides the Nigerian setting, which held my attention for being so unfamiliar to me in terms of culture, I was also brought in by the strong characters and a plot that was almost Shakespearean at times. 

It begins with a couple of women being held captive together, though we're not yet told why, who pass the time by sharing their life stories. While both from Nigeria, they've had very different paths that ultimately led to this moment but not after an fateful, almost miraculous, reveal. 

There is so much to digest here that it would also be a perfect book club read: feminism, gender roles, motherhood, class, generational gaps, familial love. And yet, even without digging into these themes, the plot is wholly engaging. It's everything I want from a novel.

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