“The lives of girls and women continue to be fraught with secrets, shame, and violence. Yejide Kilanko’s courageous characters reveal how young women bear their coming-of-age, and then they learn to tell.” -Kim Echlin, Giller-nominated author of The Disappeared
Last week, a friend sent an e-copy of this book commending the author for her incredible writing style and the powerful message the novel conveys. The story focuses on the life of a young girl who is sexually assaulted by an extended family. My friend did not have to say much to convince me to read the book. Honestly, one cannot understand what victims of this vicious act go through or if they ever recover from such experience. This year, we heard diverse stories of women who were raped and killed and the perpetrators walked free.
It is disheartening that our government turns a blind eye to the terrible things that happen in the country. Because of this, perpetrators go ahead with their acts, knowing they’ll most likely get away with whatever they do. It is hard to think anything can be done, but I believe that we are more powerful together and we must use our voices to speak out against such heinous acts so that criminals can be brought to justice.
Matters like these are too important for us women to ignore because it hasn’t happened to us. We need to do more individually and collectively to support each other which is why this book is relevant especially now. I want to learn more about the problems we as women face and share these stories for the next few weeks. Hence, for August, I’ve decided to read a book by Yejide Kilanko titled; Daughters Who Walk This Path. It is about a girl, Morayo, who fights to break a tradition of silence in her family to protect herself and her sister.
About the book:
Spirited and intelligent, Morayo grows up surrounded by school friends and family in Ibadan, Nigeria. An adoring little sister, their parents, and a host of aunties and cousins make Morayo’s home their own. So, there’s nothing unusual about her 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 her for the shameful secret Bros T forces upon her. Thrust into a web of oppression woven by the adults around her, Morayo must learn to fiercely protect herself and her sister from a legacy of silence many women in her family share.
Only Aunty Morenike — once shielded by her mother — provides Morayo with a safe home and a sense of female community that sustains her as she grows into a young woman in a bustling, politically charged, often violent Nigeria.
About the author:
Yejide Kilanko is a writer of novels, short stories, and a poet. Yejide’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. Visit her website here.
I’m excited to read, and most importantly, learn from this book. I believe that it will bring more awareness, and we will not continue to ignore the issues of utmost importance.
Have you picked a book for the month? Join in as I read the Daughters Who Walk This Path by Yejide Kalinko. Get the book here.