I finally finished this book and, I have to admit, I’m a little disappointed. Now, don’t misunderstand me, this collection is incredible and her writing is beautiful but I think I went in to this with far too high expectations. Previous to this, I didn’t really get along with Americanah; I didn’t enjoy it and the problems I had with that I felt were also present here in some respects.
The collection primarily addresses Nigerian immigrants to north America. The stories were all powerful but having read The Alphabet of Birds which addresses a lot of the same themes, I found this just didn’t quite hit the mark when compared to it.
There were some stand out stories for me, I really liked ‘A Private Experience’, in which a Christian and a Muslim woman shelter together from a raging war between their faiths. It is possibly the most poignant of the collection, and even though I read it some time ago now it has stuck with me. Another I liked was ‘On Monday of Last Week’ which follows a Nigerian immigrant to America as she becomes a nanny to a wealthy family.
I found this collection very samey, a lot of the stories I felt were just the same thing told slightly differently. Once I had read one, I felt I had read them all. The characters all tended to blur together. I think it would be unfair to give it less than 3* because there were stand-outs in the collection, and the writing was beautiful even when I was feeling bored of the story. I think I’m slowly reaching the conclusion that me and Adichie’s writing are never going to fully click.
This is one of the new Little Black Classics that Penguin have released after the success of their first 80. The second batch are a little bit longer, which makes me incredibly happy as they published this little gem. It came on to my radar a couple of years ago after seeing a couple of booktubers /bloggers recommend it and I’m so glad I finally got around to it.
Daphnis and Chloe follows Daphnis (a goatherd) and Chloe (a shepherdess), who fall in love without actually understanding what these feelings they have for each other are. They learn about what they’re feeling through a frankly baffling series of events, some of which involve nymphs and pirates! Both were found abandoned as infants by their respective families, and along the way they both come to learn of their origins. It is really, really quite a sweet tale and it just warmed my heart a little bit!
One thing I wasn’t expecting is that it is actually quite a hilarious book. I found myself openly laughing at certain parts of their absolute confusion, at some of the situations they somehow got themselves in to. It was actually quite refreshing to be able to get in to a classic book without any effort. I’d seriously recommend this to anyone who wants to just try something new, this series of books is so good for that! So, this book I’ll happily give 4* to, it wasn’t quite perfect but I loved it nonetheless.
In absolutely no way am I an expert on poetry, but it is something that once in a while I do enjoy. This book has been everywhere in the bookish community, but I was unsure if I was capable of appreciating this. I read some of the first poem, which spans about 20 pages in all, and I just fell in love.
The theme of this is that it’s based around the myth of Tiresias, a young prophet in Greek myth who was transformed in to a woman by the Gods, only temporarily. It’s simply inspired. The collection is split in to four sections, inspired by the stages of his/her life: childhood, womanhood, manhood, and “blind profit”.
This poetry is easy to get through and it’s relatable. And while there were some which I just couldn’t get in to, I think that’s the beauty of poetry though because even though I couldn’t get the rhythm of some of them, I still liked what they were saying. For me, there were a handful of standout poems in this collection, but my favourite in the entire book was On Clapton Pond at Dawn. This one I found myself reading several times, flicking back to to re-indulge myself.
Honestly, I think this collection has made me more likely to pick up poetry as a whole, but also I really want to pick up more by Kate Tempest, both Brand New Ancients and her novel which came out in the past week or so! This is a very solid 4*; I don’t feel I can give it 5* because I’ve not got much poetry to compare it to!