Book Review: A Good Name by Yejide Kilanko

This is the second book I have read by this author and I was curious to see what she would do with this one. I received a copy of this book from Bookville Port Harcourt as I will be moderating a book conversation session as part of the Bookville August Book Fair.

This story follows Eziafa who left the shores of Nigeria years ago for greener pastures is yet to find the “American Dream”. After pressures from his mother, he decides to return home to Nigeria to choose a wife. He decides on Zina, an 18 year old girl fresh out of secondary school and eventually sends for her to join him in Houston. Eziafa and Zina’s marriage becomes a difficult one as they both have needs and expectations from each other that are miles apart. This is a story that mirrors the life of most Nigerians in diaspora, arranged marriages and societal expectation.

I enjoyed reading this book. It captivated me in such a way that I read the entire book in one sitting. I was very curious to see how things would unfold for both protagonists and although I wasn’t pleased with the way the story ended (I would be asking the author about this), It was definitely a good experience. I find the theme of this story a very important one and really relevant in this day and time. I hope that it will get people thinking about the choices they make as it relates to arranged marriages for men who are in the diaspora and for girls who believe that getting married to such men is a free ticket to a life of bliss. Parents have to stop marrying off their very young daughters to strangers whom they barely know and the men also need to stop having illusions that they can control a young girl who they marry from the village forever. As the saving goes, “the young shall grow” and most often than not, it never ends well. I applaud the author for telling this story and I look forward to more stories from her in the future.

I highly recommend this book to all book lovers especially those of African decent. This would also be a good pick for a book club discussion.

Rating: 4 Stars

Published: September 1st 2021 by Guernica Editions

Pages: 275

Genre: Literary Fiction

The Author:

Yejide Kilanko is a writer of novels, short stories, and a poet. Kilanko’s debut novel, Daughters Who Walk This Path (2012), a Canadian national bestseller, was longlisted for the inaugural Etisalat Prize and the 2016 Nigeria Literature Prize.
Her work includes a novella, Chasing Butterflies (2015) and a children’s picture book, There Is An Elephant In My Wardrobe (2018). Her short fiction is included in the anthology, New Orleans Review 2017: The African Literary Hustle.
Kilanko lives in Ontario, Canada, where she also practices as a therapist in children’s mental health.

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