This is how you lose her – more like this is how you lost me. I usually start my reviews with meaningful or impactful quotes from the book that really intrigued me but I didn’t find any on here…
Valentine’s day is just around the corner and all the stores are decked out in red to celebrate. This holiday is one of my least favourite holidays. And this is actually because I have never understood why people should go the extra mile to celebrate love on just one day out of the year. Love should be celebrated fully every single day don’t you think?
Another Tuesday, another book review!
Hello fellow bookworms. Are you all feeling the pinch of January yet? It’s payday week and I’m just counting down the days man, it’s been way too long, the struggle is so real. Anyway, that aside… I finally got done reading Paulo Coelho’s much anticipated new novel, Adultery and for the first time ever… He has disappointed me.
Let me at least give you a short synopsis first before I give my own two cents. Adultery is a story that revolves around Linda, a successful journalist with a loving wealthy husband and children she adores. Despite all this, Linda is depressed. She hates her life, her marriage and is looking for some kind of drastic change to her monotonous life. She takes on an interview with her high school sweetheart which turned into more of an office romp than anything else… and it is after this that she does a double-take on her life and makes it her mission to find out why she is so depressed. She tries to reignite the spark in her marriage with her husband, it worked for like two weeks and back to days of melancholy she went. She tried to ‘talk it out’ with a traditional healer… He only made her feel worse. She seeks vengeance on her high sweetheart’s wife but even that didn’t give her the satisfaction she needed.
There is, of course, a lot of what Coelho is known for in the book, a lot of deep quotes that give you an insight to various aspects of your life and it is actually those sections of the book that kept me reading by the way. He knows how to keep his readers glued to his books despite the poor storyline in this one. And of course, in relation to the title, there are some forced sex scenes.. because she is actually committing adultery (guess he had to put that in somewhere) and this book kind of makes you question what you want in regards to love in your life.
The review in the Independent had this much to say about it… “This reader would be open to a moment of seeing the divine in Nature, of being reminded we are small beings part of a larger mysterious entity: “And the eagle tells me: ‘Come. You are heaven and earth, the wind and the clouds, the snow and the lakes.’” But, at odds with the words and actions gone before, the resolution is too glib, verging on the patronizing.”… Ummm yeah, so I’ll just leave that there.
Paulo Coelho, I love your work but this; I think this was just an ‘Omg I need to release a book before everyone thinks I have stopped writing’ type of lightbulb moment. Not your best. Let’s go back to the Manuscripts in Accra and Brida story flow types, we’ll always be your loyal fans no matter what though, don’t worry.
2015 really hasn’t started out with the best-written works for me it seems. I need to pick the next book I read very carefully, I have to write at least one positive review before March. Yes, before March, suggestions are highly appreciated! I’ll leave you all with one quote from the book that particularly stuck to me:
“Love isn’t just a feeling, it’s an art. And like any art, it takes not only inspiration but also a lot of work.” Coelho
Enjoy the week ahead and hope we all get paid by this weekend! January needs to end.
‘You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices’
My new site is currently under construction so typewriter tuesdays is on pause for while… Bare with me!
Although, I just want to take time out of my literary shenanigans to shed light on one thing that is the most important to each one of us. Family.
Just this past weekend, I spent Saturday at a family function planned to celebrate the life of my late Grandmother, God rest her soul. When my mother said that she and her sister wanted to have a mother’s day celebration, I didn’t get why aside from, of course because it was Mother’s Day. But thing is, this event was scheduled for 3 months AFTER Mother’s day in May. So again, why bother, why not just wait till next year? But what I didn’t know was the reason for this particular event. They wanted to bring together every single one of grandmother’s friends who are still fortunately here with us today and all the mother figures they have known all their lives to celebrate them and thank them for standing with them even when their own mother had departed.
I just thought it was yet another family function where I’d have to play hostess so didn’t even show any excitement. But when I got there… I saw people I had not seen in years. The last time being when we were at my grandmother’s funeral. Every one of her sisters, her dearest friends, her favorite cousins, even people she met literally weeks to her passing, all of them made the time, made the journey from out of town, some from out of the country… all just to be here to remember their friend, sister, aunt and mother one more time.
My family only communes on one occasion. Christmas time, so it was very surreal to see everyone after such a long time and all under one roof just like how we used to be in Dani’s(the name we would call my grandmother) house. It was all fun and laughter till the speeches began with the traditional luo music playing in the background. Then the waterworks started, everyone had something to say about Dani, what they loved about her, what they missed about her… and most of them would turn to me and say ‘Look how beautiful you have grown up to be. Your grandma would be so proud.’ After like 5 more of those comments I couldn’t sit there anymore, I tried to not shed even one tear because I didn’t want to mess up my makeup but it was all too much. Then my mother broke down and that was it. I couldn’t be here. I walked up and left, leaving my mother to be comforted by her sister.
Standing by the drive way, I remembered the sombre moments of 2009. Our whole family was torn apart by Dani’s sudden death but we have since been picking up the pieces. We have all grown, we have become better, stronger, and more successful people in our own rights and all to uphold the family name. The family she worked so hard to build. She would be so extremely proud to see what has become of the family now. Seeing my mother break down like that hit me hard. It made me realize that she really puts on a facade with us kids. She misses her mother terribly because Dani was the one person aside from her sister that my mother was extremely close to. I’d give anything to have her back just to have my mother at ease. But God has her reasons and maybe that’s why he found a way to make my aunt relocate back to Kenya. He knew my mother needed her person, her sister, close to her so she doesn’t feel too alone.
I went back and saw Dani’s sisters singing her favorite song to the audience. Tears flowed freely, but those were not the sad tears of 2009, but nostalgic ones. A happy nostalgia had filled the air. We miss her but we love each and every memory we have of her. We love that the youngest of the grandchildren is named after her. Arwa is a bouncing ball of joy Dani, I know you would have been spending every waking minute with her if you were still here. We love that her own daughter followed in her footsteps and married into politics. Because everything my aunt does now, she learnt from watching her mother during her days as a political wife, and does it flawlessly. We love that her eldest granddaughter got to graduate from college and set the example for all the rest. We love that her other grandkids are mostly in university and making moves in their own right, trying to give back to society while maintaining exemplary grades in school. We love that the school named after her is producing brilliant students each and every year. So many great things have happened since 2009 and it goes to show she did not leave us empty handed at all. She left us a legacy that we definitely are living up to and making bigger.
Family. As I sat there watching all these people I have grown up with, others I have watched grow as well… I cannot help but say a big thank you to the big man upstairs. I have an amazing family and I would not trade them for anything in this world. This family would not be here were it not for my Dani. So this albeit late Mother’s day celebration was actually very much needed.
The past 72 hours have been one of the most trying times for most Kenyans, all of us in the diaspora included. We have suffered under the ugly hand of terrorism. The Westgate attack has touched my heart, has angered me, has saddened me and has made me an even stronger Kenyan. Yesterday at 11:50pm which is about 10minutes to 5pm here in Atlanta, the news broke that the terrorists had been neutralized. ALL terrorists dead. The look of disbelief mixed with relief on my face that came on hearing that piece of news… We had won. That being glorious news in its essence, the question still remains, where and how are the hostages? Still alive I am hoping despite the terrible ordeal they had to go through.
As we start to slowly pick up the pieces of shattered glass and bullet shells from the floor, as we slowly mop up the blood splashed across all floors of the mall, as we comfort our children, our bereaved, as we slowly transition back to our normal day to day routine… Please remember those who fought for us. Those who put their life on the line to save others. Those who did not care what race, what religion, what nationality… Those who only knew one thing, that WE ARE ONE.
The pain, the hurt, the anger, the anxiety I have felt in that past 3 days cannot be compared to those who looked death straight in the face. I cannot begin to compare how I felt to that woman who hid underneath trolleys for 16hrs straight in the cold, dark supermarket. The hunger felt by the children trapped in there for all 3 days and 2 nights. The pain and anguish felt by the woman who was raped in front of young kids… and had to watch her baby get shot in the head. I cannot compare anything to that extent, but all I can say is that I cried for you every day. It pierced my soul to see all that evil take place in my beautiful country. I prayed constantly for it to all end, I prayed for the terrorists to feel even a shred of mercy on you all. I prayed and cried and prayed and cried, here alone in my home because above everything WE ARE ONE.
There is someone I love just as much as Mbugua loved his wife to be Rosemary. He was the first person I thought of when I first heard the news. I panicked because he lives in that area and his family frequents that mall often. Though we may not be in contact with each other, I still had to find out that he was okay, that he was safe, and his family was safe as well. Thank you @bloodaybubbles for assuring me of his safety. The love shown by Mbugua for his partner is the kind of love we all aspire to get. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. He went back in to save her, took 8 bullets for her and died with her. ‘Till death do us part…’ those were the lines they would have read at their future wedding, but death did not do them part, it brought them together as one and I know now they are in heaven together, love being what bound them together till death. WE ARE ONE.
To the hundreds of selfless Kenyans who took time to volunteer in whatever way possible. To all those who queued for hours to donate blood, to those who took time to make tea, coffee, provide food to the journalists, medics, and policemen working round the clock at the scene. I commend you. We in the diaspora could only do so much in form of help and we have been in full solidarity with you all as you represent us back at home and we represent you out here. Thank you. The Kenyan spirit I know, and talk so much about here was in full effect during this tragedy and indeed goes to show one thing- WE ARE ONE.
Those who lost their lives were at the mall just like anyone of us would have been on any random saturday. Either at work, shopping, going to the movies, or out to lunch. My little cousins spend a lot of time there, my family shops there, my friends hang out there… I am thankful none of them were there at the time but the truth of the matter is… They could have been. Praying for the souls of all those sadly taken away from us. They are all our brothers and sisters. That security manager who had only been working there four days before, that radio presenter who was 6months pregnant, the architect and his wife, the Ghanaian poet, the President’s nephew and his fiance, the Nakumatt cashier lady who was the bread winner for her family, the 16yr old indian girl, those precious little children… People from all walks of life, all living in Kenya, all part of us. WE ARE ONE.
May your souls rest in eternal peace and may the Lord be with your families during this trying times.
The healing process will not be easy, for any of us, those affected will have an even harder time trying to come to terms with what happened. The devil attacked us, and he really tired his best to bring us down and tear us apart. But not only did he fail and lost all his accomplices(said terrorists) in the process, he accomplished the exact opposite- Bringing our nation together and making us stronger than ever in our pride & unity as Kenyan people, as ONE people. God bless Kenya, as we heal and continue to grow from this and develop our great nation even further.
So I’m trying this new thing where I review books I’ve recently read since I’ve gotten into a lot of reading this summer judging by all the free time I have now… This postgrad life is going to take a lot of getting used to! Tried to find a nice, cool name to be giving the week’s book review and all I could come up with was… Book Club Tuesdays… do you like it? Let me know in the comments section below.
I know I promised a pictorial for the next post but still compiling some pics so probably next time. Let’s get right into it shall we… and the very first book I shall be reviewing is (drumroll please).. AMERICANAH by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie!! Anyone who has talked to me or been with me in the past two weeks knows how obsessed I am about this novel but I will try my best and not be biased:) First a little about the author, Chimamanda. She is one of my favorite authors of all time, yes in the same list as J.K. Rowling, don’t hate! But that’s another post all together.. Top 10 authors in D.od’s life lol.. hailing from Nigeria, she came to America, like all of us in search of milk and honey in the form of an education and she not only got an education, she soon became on of the best African Authors in the world not forgetting that she is one of the highest ranking FEMALE African authors. Widely known for her Best seller, “Half of a Yellow Sun”
In short, she is awesome and Americanah is her most recent release just in time for summer.
This book inspired me to start doing book reviews as I was so engrossed in it but had no one to talk to about it here in NY. Fifi is not a bookworm as I am and all the people I know who have read it or are reading it are quite a distance away. It was a graduation gift from my girl Stefanie and a perfect gift at that!
Americanah is based around two main characters i.e. Ifemelu and Obinze and yes you guessed it, they are high school sweethearts. I’m inclined to think that Ifemelu is basically Chimamanda in fictional form but that’s just my opinion. The book starts out in present-day New York, showing us Ifemelu’s life now, as a full-grown woman living in America, a Princeton fellow recipient due to the success of a blog she started on race when she first arrived in the United States. She plans on making the final move back home to Nigeria and looks back on her life, showing us flash-forwards and flashbacks as she gets her hair braided by some loud Senegalese women in downtown Harlem. From here she starts the tale of Ifemelu and Obinze, how they met in high school, fell in love and planned to come to America together for college.
Obinze is, (I imagine so) a tall dark and handsome Igbo man who reads a lot and dreams of life in America because of all the books he has read. What’s funny is that his friends wanted him to chase after Ifemelu’s friend but Ifem’s boisterous nature attracted him to her. He chased her instead and throughout the book we see their love grow and fade and grow again and stay ignited in their passion for each other. What I love about this book is the progression of the storyline. We see Ifemelu progress from high school to college, we see her struggles as a first time African in America and I only know that all too well, we see her success as she finally decides to be in control of her life by starting her own blog on race, we see her go through relationships with white men, black American men and soon after right back to Obinze’s arms. Progression; very important in a story especially one like this that has a lot of the past being interconnected with the present.
Chimamanda tells us a story that relates very much to the diasporans here in America such as myself and many others and also speaks to all Africans in general, informing us of Americans’ continued ignorance, adding humor to the lifestyle here and also shedding light on how much harder life gets here than back home in the motherland. We see Ifemelu stoop down to some degrading levels to be able to earn some quick cash to sustain herself while in school in America and after her ordeal with the old sports coach, ashamed and disgusted by her actions, she cuts off all communication with Obinze back home to avoid breaking his heart with the truth. Poor Obinze is oblivious to all this and thinks Ifem has fallen out of love with him and he tries to move on by starting his life in England where he travelled on his mother’s passport as he was continuously denied an American visa. Chimamanda talks not only in Ifemulu’s point of view but also from Obinze’s perspective and thus we also get to see the struggle he undergoes in London, the lengths he has to go to get a workers permit, read get a sham marriage to a British-African which would get him citizenship. Luck isn’t on his side though as he is discovered and deported. His life post-London is bittersweet as his mother passes away but he gains access to some business in Lagos and soon becomes one of the wealthiest men in Nigeria. He soon marries just for image purposes and has a child but we can tell he never stopped hoping and pining for Ifemelu. Chimamanda’s writing is impeccable when it comes to describing their love. the emails they sent each other seemed to hold so much depth despite how brief and formal they were. Ceiling… Ifemelu’s pet name for him, she never stopped referring to him as that all through the years and I think that’s one of the things that gave him constant hope for their reunion. Upon her return to Nigeria, Ifemelu tries to actually hide from Obinze, and avoids all places she knows he would be seen, she is shy of her appearance as she was not as petite as she was when she left.. *the American curse I call it* lol. You can practically feel the chemistry through your system when they finally meet and as you read the chapters following their meeting. They beat about the bush concerning their attraction and Obinze’s constant curiosity as to why she cut him off all those years ago. We all know that can’t have lasted long before they ignited their romance once again and what a whirlwind romance it was. (Im a sucker for such love stories lol). Only one problem though.. He is married and with a child. Chimamanda portrays Ifemelu as a strong character whose weakness comes in the form of Obinze and Obinze alone but she was not going to come between a marriage. He had to decide on his own what would be the outcome of this situation.
I shall not give any more away otherwise you’ll have no need to buy the book!! All in all, this is a brilliantly written piece with a little bit of everything; romance, comedy, inspiration, religion, politics, race you name it. I could not put it down once I was introduced to Ifem and was kinda sad to watch myself turn the last page. Chimamanda has outdone herself yet again with another soon to be best seller and cannot wait to see what she comes up with next. Maybe a sequel? Or not, lol… It is bloody raining in NY as I write this, really feel cheated out of my summer with this drastic weather but more reason to stay home and not spend money… Postgrad life ain’t cheap yo! How did I do on my first-time review guys? Will appreciate all feedback so I know if I should make this a regular thing or this should be the first and the last time, lol.
So this post is long overdue, lol… sorry folks, been handling too much in the past few weeks even sleeping wasn’t an option at some point. So I just graduated!!! And I just packed my entire life into 5 heavy suitcases that mother dearest wasn’t too happy to pay for at the airport today lol. Anyway lemme back track a bit, recap this semester and share my newest journey with you now.
Systems shut down due to very many reasons, illnesses, tragedies, nervous breakdowns and most commonly emotional breakdowns as well. My system shut down at the beginning of this year due to both nervous and emotional breakdowns. I suffered a major loss that to many may not seem as that serious but it really felt like the world was crashing down on me. On top of that I discovered a part of me I had been neglecting for so long was on the verge of destruction if I did not tend to it immediately, so I took time off to deal with all that. Heart break is not the easiest thing to overcome especially when you didn’t see it coming at all. It’s a feeling that pierces not only your heart but your soul as well.
Aside from that, my last semester looming on me with all this was another level of stress on its own. I was scared because I had no clue what my life after school would be, I had no support from my family and I had scared away the one person who truly believed in me. I had a full on plan in my mind before all this occurred but as Im continuously told, ‘If you want to make God laugh…’ So plans had to take a drastic 360 degree turn and I literally had to start over with my after school plan. I had my family on one hand demanding all these expectations from me, my professors pushing for more on the other hand, my work piling higher and higher, my health deteriorating slowly, my friends giving me too much BS for me to handle…. My system shut down when all that came into realization and the simplest things that made me happy such as this blog I couldn’t bare to look at anymore. I soon fell into depression and with everything around me moving in such a fast pace, I curled myself into a really dark corner and cried myself to sleep every night, wondering when the world would stop moving for just one minute. Just a second to let me accept all that happened, to let me experience it and move on, but life doesn’t work that way unfortunately. Time waits for no man and I had to pick myself up and do what I had to do every day till one day someone saw that enough was enough. I had to get help; to get myself out of this rut, out of this pit I had thrown myself in.
I don’t know if I have ever mentioned this here but I really was an anti-shrink person. I didn’t believe in therapy and found it a really stupid notion and sometimes I still do. but I was somehow forced into it to prevent me from getting clinically depressed. it was odd at first; talking to a complete stranger but she was patient with me. knowing how reserved and closed up a person I usually am, she took her time to get to know the real reason behind my pain and frustrations. and you know what, it actually helped. I can now say I do appreciate all therapists out there and what they do for each and every one of us. Not everyone has that kind of patience. The sessions helped me discover deeper issues I had with myself and my family. helped me discover that in order to move forward I had to accept the past for what it was and pray for a brighter future. I managed to get through this last leg of my college life by pushing myself extremely hard and also by not dwelling on the down side of things as much. Having things to look forward to like graduation kept me going, kept me upbeat and if I ever did fall back into a depressive state I would just write about it. Expressing myself via the written word as always been the one way to release all stress and negativity from within me. I am healing; gradually I am healing.
Next post will be soon, being back home means less internet access so need to divide up my posts lol…
Boy meets girl, Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love, Boy pretends he isn’t but in real sense he is head over heels in love. This is a story of love, a unique kind of love.
Ever met someone who fully completes you?? Someone who is in every sense your other half?? Ever been in love to the point it makes u mad sometimes? yeah, ironic isn’t it.We claim to be such independent females and that nothing can make us question the power within us until we meet him. Mr Right. He just saunters into our life without us knowing, he makes us laugh, he takes us out, he makes you laugh, he calls to check up on you, he wishes you goodnight, he makes you laugh, he takes you for movies, golf, he cooks for you; he makes you laugh; he touches the small of your back, he looks into your eyes, he gives you amazing hugs, he makes you laugh. He kisses you, he embraces your complexity, he puts up with your moodswings, he admits to wrongdoing even though he know he is not at fault, he does everything he can to make you happy, he makes you laugh. He says he loves you, he says he wants to be with you forever, he advises you, he makes you laugh.
Mr Right does all these but making you laugh is the one thing you seem to love the most. Because in that laughter both of you connect. You connect on a level that no one else around you can understand. You connect to a point you have your own language sometimes (read kesha); that laughter brings out the smile he so badly wants to see everyday. That laughter keeps both of you happy, young and thriving. He makes you laugh to know he is doing something right because he is indeed Mr Right. You are lost and confused in this big world sometimes but the one person you know you can count on to ALWAYS be there is him. He makes you laugh to assure you he will never leave your side; he makes you laugh to keep you safe, he makes you laugh to see that dimple in your cheek, that twinkle in your eye and maybe to see if he’ll get lucky that night lol but I digress.
You have put him through a lot. Some he may have deserved, some he really didn’t but you still did it anyway. But that is just how us women are built, to be curious, to be protective of our heart and body as both are the temple of the Holy Spirit and not any Tom, Dick and Harry can tamper with it. You want to know that he has good intentions, even after over 2yrs there are still tests of trust, tests of security, tests of faith to be carried out. You know you have a fragile heart and you want to know you have entrusted it to the right person. Well after all this time, Mr Right has proved himself a lot and deserves all this praise, all the trust, all the love and all the faith from you. You have trust issues because anyone you trusted before him has never been as reliable. You have been let down countless times it gets to a point you were about to give up on this thing called love. But like I mentioned earlier.. Mr Right knows how to just saunter in at the perfect time in your life. You start to see a future with him, and the smile returns, the laughter is in full effect because what you see is a future of happiness and that is all you have wanted all along. Mr Right knew what he was doing when he made you laugh that first day on July 18th, 2 yrs ago. He already saw these past 2 yrs, he saw the challenge he was faced with when he first said hello. He took it with stride and never gave up on you.
Mr Right loves you now and always. And Im happy to say, so do you. You may have never thought this kind of love would ever happen to you, but then again you know what they say… If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. Only the Lord knows what he has planned for you. And Mr Right, he was a good idea on his part.