Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Book Review: Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

Under the Udala Trees

Under the Udala Trees, Chinelo Okparanta’s debut literary novel, set in South-Eastern Nigeria during and after the civil war, explores themes of same-sex love, religious bigotry, betrayal and abandonment through the eyes of Ijeoma, the young, star-crossed female protagonist.  

In the second year of the war, Ijeoma’s father dies in an air raid, leaving his wife, Adaora, to raise their preteen daughter alone with little means. Despondent and determined to shed all reminders of her husband, Adaora relocates from Ojoto to her late parents’ house in Aba but not before dropping Ijeoma off with the grammar school teacher, an old friend of her father’s living in Nnewi. She explains to Ijeoma the arrangement is temporary, promising to send for her as soon as possible. Read more here.