#Friday Favourites: “Tiny sunbirds far away” by Christie Watson

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Set in Lagos, Nigeria, “Tiny Sunbirds Far Away” tells the story of what happens when Blessing’s Mama found Father lying on top of another woman.

In the aftermath, the family lose their apartment and have to move away, swopping their Westernised lifestyle for life in their grandparent’s compound. The cultural shock is huge and at first Blessing feels that she will never be able to cope without running water, indoor sanitation, or proper schooling.

Gradually, however, she begins to see that there are good things about living out in the Delta. The land and air might be being poisoned by the oil companies, but her relationship with her grandmother grows ever stronger and she finds what she wants to do with the rest of her life.

Although the novel deals with serious issues, such as FMG, the desecration of the environment and government corruption, it is also full of humour and joy.

The characters are vividly drawn, the language lyrical, the sense of the countryside so intense that you can almost feel the heat, smell the outhouse, taste the food.

A thoroughly recommended read.

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