Title: Daughters Who Walk This Path
Author: Yejide Kilanko
Published By: Kachifo Limited under Farafina imprint (2014)
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Coming-Of-Age Fiction, Domestic Fiction
Length: 315 pages
Spirited and intelligent, Morayo grows up surrounded by school friends and family in Ibadan. There is Eniayo, her adoring little sister- for whose sake their middle-class parents fight stigmatising superstition-and a large extended family of cousins and aunts who sometimes make Morayo’s home their own. A shameful secret force upon her by Bros T, her cousin, thrusts Morayo into a web of oppressive silence woven by the adults around her. Morayo must learn to fiercely protect herself and her sister as young women growing up in a complex and politically charged country.
Mahn, where do I even start from?
This amazing book tells the story of two female cousins who both experience child sexual abuse. Morayo, the major protagonist, is repeatedly sexually assaulted by a family member, while her older cousin, Aunty Morenike, is raped by a trusted family friend which leads to a teenage pregnancy. The book simultaneously follows the lives of these two women who are surrounded by other major and minor characters whose combined presence give a glimpse into life from the 70s to 2007 in Western Nigeria.
The novel is also seen to explore and highlight themes such as patriarchy, sexual superstition and cultural tradition while also demonstrating how family custom and African traditions serve to strengthen, uplift and guide.
I love how the author effortlessly transports readers through time as the novel spans three decades- from Ibadan in the 1970s, through Morayo’s traumatic adolescence, into her troubled twenties and thirties. I also fell in love with the sisterly bond between the major Protagonist, Morayo and her younger sister, Eniayo as it constantly reminded me of my relationship with my sister.
I must say that this book evoked so many emotions in me as I read. I cried, laughed, got sober, angry, frustrated and threw the book away several times and ran after it while it was mid-air. So many valuable lessons were hidden and laid bare in the central themes of the book.
My favourite quote from this book would have to be:
“We do not abandon the business of living life because of what people will say about us.”
I love how easy this book was to read, the language flowed into each other and it enabled me focus on using my imagination to vividly bring scenes to life without concentrating on the use of difficult language. Beautiful story-telling, unputdownable work, an emotional rollercoaster and a favourite for times to come.
Definitely a whooping 9.5/10 in my books!
P.S. If you are in Nigeria and looking for where to get a copy of this book, you can click here and order