Title: Daughters who walk this path
Author: Yejide Kilanko
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Blurb: Spirited, intelligent Morayo grows up surrounded by school friends and a busy family in modern-day Ibadan, Nigeria. An adoring little sister, her traditional parents, and a host of aunties and cousins make Morayo’s home their own. So there’s nothing unusual about Morayo’s charming but troubled cousin, Bros T, moving in with the family. At first Morayo and her sister are delighted, but in her innocence, nothing prepares Morayo for the shameful secret Bros T forces upon her. Thrust into a web of oppressive silence woven by the adults around her, Morayo must learn to fiercely protect herself and her sister; a legacy of silence many women in Morayo’s family share. Only Aunty Morenike—once protected by her own mother—provides Morayo with a safe home, and a sense of female community which sustains Morayo as she grows into a young woman in bustling, politically charged, often violent Nigeria
My Thoughts: DAUGHTERS WHO WALK THIS PATH is a debut novel for Yejide Kilanko and she is going straight onto my ‘must buy immediately she produces a new book’ list. The problem is – when you read a book that so profoundly moves you and drags you into the story, immerses you completely and doesn’t let you go until the very last page – you know you are not going to be able to do justice to it in a review. DAUGHTERS WHO WALK THIS PATH follows Morayo from her early childhood, through her teenage years and on to adulthood. Her family lives in Ibadan in Nigeria and is middle class so can afford to send their children to private schools and on to university. Because of her status in society Morayo is fairly well sheltered from the more violent aspects of being a woman in modern day Nigeria. Protected, that is, until her cousin Bros T comes to stay with them and she is sexually abused by him. Her silence is ensured when he threatens to do the same with her young sister if she tells. At twelve years of age, this is a heavy burden to place on a young girl. When eventually she finally manages to tell her parents what is happening, her relationship with her parents’ changes and she is driven to suicide. This is the point where her aunt Morenike, who has her own secrets, steps in and takes Morayo under her wing, a step that proves to be Morayo’s lifeline and although her character changes as she tries to find her emotional place in the world her aunt remains a constant.
The characters all come alive on the pages, they are very well portrayed, all have a role to play, and all evolve as the book progresses – even Bros T changes and evolves, though not for the better. Morayo has real growth as she overcomes the feelings of despair, guilt and lack of self-respect and discovers that she can find happiness. Her relationship with her Aunt Morenike is something special indeed. Through their relationship author Yejide Kilanko also manages to bring Nigeria alive for the reader. A country that is vibrant and modern yet still seething with a violent underbelly, seeped in superstition and reluctant to give up long established traditions. DAUGHTERS WHO WALK THIS PATH is an enthralling read and should not be missed, Yejide Kilanko’s second book ‘When Land Spirits Cross Big Waters’ is due for release in 2014 and I for one will be looking out for it and pre-ordering as soon as I can.
Rating: A – Excellent. I could not put it down.
For more about the author – Click Here