Book Review: Stranger in Lagos by Sally Kenneth Dadzie

This book has been on my TBR for quite a while because I was always discouraged by its size but I was feeling a bit up to it last week so I decided to dive in.

I have read two books by the author and I really loved both of them so my expectations were really high on this one.

Stranger in Lagos‘ is a multi-themed coming of age story about three characters: Halim, Eben, and Eniola. Halim and Eben’s parents have always had dreams of their children getting married to further cement the long standing friendship between both families. On the other hand, Eniola has always been in love with Eben (who is also best friends with her brother, Lekan), and would do anything to be his wife. Eventually, fate throws Eben and Halim together and their parents are overcome with joy when they both announce their plans to be married until disaster strikes.

b077b4c4-65af-4398-b003-66c553c0ee52I enjoyed reading this book, particularly the early chapters. The plot was tight and the suspense in some parts made for excellent reading. This book felt like watching a TV series with constant surprises and reveals.

The characters were dramatic but believable. However, I didn’t find anyone I particularly rooted for: it should have been Yemi, but at the end, his character took an unexpected turn which disappointed me.

The author did a great job at creating this complex and twisted tale that boldly explored themes of love, forgiveness, loss, secrets, and lies. I also liked that she tackled mental health, abuse, dysfunctional family dynamics, and HIV which are often swept under the carpet in our society. She was able to show several ways which these issues affect our behaviors and choices in life and how we can possibly overcome if we find ourselves in these situations. I hope more people will read this story and it will stir up more conversations around these topics.

What I didn’t like:

  • I felt the story stretched on for too long at some parts;
  • It had too many strong themes competing for attention;
  • I would have preferred a different ending/resolution.

Despite the above, it was a good story and I recommend it to lovers of suspense, romance and the like. Congratulations, Sally!

Rating: 4 Stars

Published: August 19, 2020 by Moskedapages

Pages: 602

Genre: Fiction

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The Author: Sally Kenneth Dadzie is a blogger, wife and mother based in Lagos, Nigeria. From early childhood, she bore the weight of an active imagination that often pushed her to reclusion. Years would pass before she would find the pluck to put those imaginations to words. She began with stage dramas for her local church, and moved on to short stories, and then, web series on her blog. Finally, she found the courage to pick one of those series and put them together in her first novel, Fish Bran Clan. She has gone on to write ten more books. Sally has twice been named one of the most influential writers under 40; and she bagged the award for Fiction Writer of The Year in 2017 by the Nigerian Writers Awards.



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