Meandering Em's

Passion is books, photography, running and traveling. Also passionate about environmental issues.

The Joys of Motherhood (AWS African Writers Series) - Buchi Emecheta If I tell you that the title of the book is ironic, that will really tell you everything you need to know. Nnu Ego is a Nigerian woman raising a family in a swiftly changing society. Raised in a typical African village, she is thrust into a rapidly growing city of Lagos when she marries a man working there. There is no family support for her as she tries to adjust to married life in a strange environment. Her first child dies in the first chapter of the book and she is devastated by the loss. However, she gradually recovers when she has a second child. She then has many more children. She devotes her life in educating her oldest son, trusting in the African tradition that he will support her and help educate his siblings. However, he does not do that. Instead he goes to American to continue his education, contributing nothing. Her other children are also a disappointment. Her husband is no help. He spends his money on drink. Even though he can't afford it, he takes on a second and later a third wife. He has nothing left emotionally or financially for Nnu Ego and her children. When his children don't meet his expectations, he blames Nnu Ego. Everything that can go wrong, does. It is not a cheerful, hopeful book.Intertwined in Nnu Ego's story, is the changing face of Nigeria. The English has colonial control over Nigeria in beginning of the book. When the English enter World War II, they force Nnu Ego's husband to become a soldier. He goes to Burma to fight for a cause and an enemy that is unknown to him. The war changes him for the worse. After the war, Nigeria is striving and preparing for independence. The young are eager for change, but the older generation tries to cling to the past and its traditions. I got the feeling that if Nnu had been born ten or fifteen years earlier or later, she would have had a fulfilling role as a productive member of society. Instead, torn between two cultures and unable to adapt, she dies at the side of road, unwanted and unloved.

Currently reading

The Waiting Years
Fumiko Enchi
Progress: 94/208 pages
Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock
Derrick Z. Jackson, Stephen W. Kress
Progress: 33/376 pages