Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away

Father was a loud man.

Nigerian city family moves to their family in a rural town. The culture shock, proximity to oil companies, lack of money and ever-present violence chance every family member.

I like to read novels set in Africa, how they show the different picture mainstream (Western) media neglects to use, how the people there just want the same things from life as the people here. Sometimes that comes with uncomfortable truths. Timi and her children can’t stay in the city because her employer only wants married women as employees and Timi’s husband left her. White foreigners are prospering from Nigerian oil and the corruption around it while their factories pollute the environment and create a violent atmosphere in small towns. Wives have no say in the decision of their husbands, boys are allowed an education while girls should do ‘female’ things.

The reader looks through the eyes of daughter Blessing, a twelve-year-old who is torn between loyalty to her direct family and the adventures of the unknown, provided by her wise grandmother.

It’s a colorful, easy-to-read story that packs several punches.

Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away, Christie Watson, Other Press 2011

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