Book of the Month: Daughters Who Walk This Path By Yejide Kilanko

Hello and welcome to the book of this month!

I'm always so excited to talk about these and I hope y'all are just as excited. If you are, please let me know and/or share with others. It encourages me a great deal :-)  This month's own is a miracle on it's own because I almost lost my laptop and everything in it so praise God with me. 

Alright, let's dive in: the book of this month is by Yejide Kilanko called Daughters Who Walk this Path. 
Not that it was planned, but I realized that this year, most of the books have been by black women and I'm even more proud of that hehe. I hope I can keep this up so if you have any recommendations, feel free to put them in the comments below, okay? 

The book is a coming of age story of the main protagonist, Morayo. The book tells us how she went from a charming, carefree, and intelligent girl who grows up surrounded by a loving family and friends in Ibadan, Nigeria to one who is eclipsed into trauma, shame, and a cloud of oppressive silence. All of these occur because  the adults around her have completely let down, in my opinion. But one person stands out in her story and that's her cousin (aunt?) Aunty Morenike, who having walked the path before her was able to guide Morayo through navigating this path too

The author is a master storyteller and I an tell you for a fact that from the first pages, you hardly want to put down the book. A book that draws you in like so is certainly brilliant. This book is feminist, it's powerful, it's a masterpiece and I don't know why the book or the author is not more mainstream or maybe they are and I just don't know. There was something about the way she narrates the book that makes it so real, so visual, and you don't have to have lived in Ibadan to know the descriptions were apt. The characters are so relatable, especially Aunty Morenike. I loved, loved her. It's touching in so many ways.

I'll be honest, it's told in first person and so the earlier parts came across as a little too...juvenile. But as the story progresses, the storytelling starts to mature. All of these make sense in hindsight because as the pages turn, the protagonist grows older. 

My biggest peeve with this book is that it deals with too many issues. On the one hand, that's freaking amazing: to deal with such complex themes within the context of Nigeria. We are talking child abuse, shame, the mother-daughter dynamics, albinism, political violence, sex education...But on the other, it sometimes felt like the author was given a laundry list of themes to tackle and it was all about forcing every single one of them unto the pages of this otherwise fantastic book. But then again, these are topics often not discussed in Nigeria so it was refreshing to hear it said.  

But if you are African or at least Nigeria, the story is one that you're familiar with, especially as a woman. We know how the adults around often choose silence rather than the discomfort that occurs from truth telling. It's funny because one of the biggest events of this book, you could have seen a mile coming. And you keep hoping it doesn't happen but it does. And you are angry at the [redacted] because how could they let that happen to their [redacted]. Then you realize that's real life too. That's precisely how it occurs in real life.  Again, the particular thing that struck me is, this book does NOT pander to "the western gaze". That's what I loved the most about it.

It's a brilliant book so I hope you read it. When you do, please let me know what you think!



No comments