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The Bride Price

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  670 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
A Nigerian girl is allowed to finish her education because a diploma will enhance her bride price, but she then rebels against traditional marriage customs.
Paperback, 168 pages
Published May 17th 1980 by George Braziller Inc. (first published 1976)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,545)
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Mar 16, 2014 Connie rated it really liked it
Aku-nna's father dies when she is thirteen-years-old. Her mother, Ma Blackie, is forced by economic circumstances to leave their close community of supportive relatives in Lagos, and move back to her village in Ibuza with Aku-nna and eleven-year-old Nna-nndo. Following tradition, Ma Blackie becomes the fourth wife of her deceased husband's brother, Okonkwo. Ma Blackie has some money set aside for Aku-nna to finish her schooling, and Okonkwo agrees, only because an educated girl will fetch a high ...more
Ronald Morton
Mar 20, 2016 Ronald Morton rated it liked it
Aku-nna knew that she was too insignificant to be regarded as a blessing to this unfortunate marriage. Not only was she a girl but she was much too thin for the approval of her parents, who would rather have a strong and plump little girl for a daughter. Aku-nna just would not put on weight, and this made her look as if she was being starved; but she simply had not the kind of healthy appetite her brother Nna-nndo had. And that was not the end off the disgrace she was showering on her family. If
Apr 11, 2009 Zaneta rated it liked it
Had I not been chosen to read this book for Global Literature, I don't think I would've picked up this book and read it. However, I'm glad that I got the chance to read this book to inform myself of Nigerian tradition and to change my perspective of Africa.

This book starts off with the protagonist Aku-nna, and her brother Nna-ndo who face the death of their father. Because of tradition, they are forced to move with their mother, Ma Blackie, to Lagos in order for her mother to remarry the uncle.
Irene Mcintyre
3.5 stars if I could give half stars and I liked it enough to grab another book of hers called Double Yoke I saw at my library today. I like to go back into the past to a place I've never been but can see in my minds eye. Ibuza, a village of Ibo people with their customs and ways with many of their youth moving at that time to Lagos looking for work. I like to hear about the old customs and their new ways, how their worship of the ancestors mixes with Christianity to create a new altogether bril ...more
Jun 02, 2011 Kristy rated it liked it
Having a daughter marry someone for a price is almost the same as selling her. According to the book, The Bride Price by Buchi Emecheta, Aku-nna, a young teenager, was forced to marry someone of her uncle, Okonkwo’s choice. Aku-nna fights fate and cultural customs to be with the one she desires. This story shows how females in a society must feel as if they are under the men. The readers learn about how in the African society, the males use women to benefit themselves, traditions play a big part ...more
Lefty Kalaitzis
Apr 22, 2012 Lefty Kalaitzis rated it really liked it
This book is a about a traditional young ibo girl named Aku-nna living in Nigeria. Her family is very traditional so she follows all rituals and beliefs. Unfortuanetly this young girl faced the tragedy of losing her father who is the head of the family at a young age. She was very close with him and thsi was a traumatizing experience for her because she was forced to move out of the town she has lived in her whole life to live with her cousins. Her mother is forced to marry her uncle because it ...more
Jan 25, 2010 Sophia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 11th-grade
The Bride Price the protagonist, Aku-nna who lives in this period of time followed these old traditions and wasn’t able to make her own decision on her own marriage. “Aku-nna on her part was determined not to let her father down. She was going to marry well, a rich man of whom her father would approve and who wouldn’t be able to afford an expensive bride price” (Emecheta, 10). This quote clearly explains that young women are determined to marry someone rich, so they can afford expensive bride pr ...more
Jan 27, 2008 April rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in African culture, feminists, lovers of dramatic fiction
I first read Buchi's work a couple years ago in a lit class ("The Family"). I loved that novel and I loved this one.

"The Bride Price" focuses on how cultural traditions of treating women as property harm not only the women in question, but the entire society. The story is about Aku-nna, a young girl who falls in love with a man her uncle (and designated male guardian) will not accept. The story is tragic and sobering because along the way we learn of all the ways in which Nigerian women can be m
Jun 28, 2016 K.Horan rated it really liked it
Buchi Emecheta’s The Bride Price tells not only a beautiful yet tragic love story but also provides a strong lesson about straying from the beaten path, or in this case, cultural norms. The Bride Price is a well written compelling novel whose pages hold everything from poverty, caste, love, and cruelty to jaw dropping traditions and customs. Emecheta’s careful word choice used to describe characters and their actions provided a deeper meaning to the book than what may meet the eye. She tells the ...more
Madi Webber
Jun 21, 2016 Madi Webber rated it really liked it
'The Bride Pride' by Buchi Emecheta was a book that actually sparked my interest from the first page all the was until the last and held it by using unexpected details to the story that were minor yet could change the whole story. In this book, the author uses Aku-nna and her life as a way to portrait Nigerian customs and values. This definitely helped keep me very interested throughout the whole book because I learned so much about a way of life that is so completely different from mine. For ex ...more
Sep 29, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing
"It was not that she shrank from becoming an adult, but she was afraid of what her people might force the future to hold for her." (p. 104)

This quote encapsulates perfectly the struggles of the main character, the young teenage girl Aku-nna, as she strives towards a future that conflicts with the customs of her family and the traditions of her village in Nigeria in the 1950s. Sometimes, in these kinds of novels that expose the abuse and misogyny of a particular society, there can be a complete d
Jul 28, 2015 Gwyneth rated it it was ok
As a frequent reader who loves seeing what life is like in other civilizations, Buchi Emecheta's "The Bride Price" is the perfect read. The story follows a young Nigerian girl and her family after World War II, when patriarchy is very noticeable in civilizations. Emecheta portrayed in her story that Nigerian families will not be able to survive and sustain themselves without the father, or man of the family. This plot added an increase of interest to the story when the main character's, Aku-nna' ...more
Jul 08, 2014 Maggie rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emi Bevacqua
Jul 01, 2015 Emi Bevacqua rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, africa
13 year-old Aku-nna and her little brother Nna-nndo live in the city of Lagos, Nigeria. While their mother Ma Blackie is away at the village Ibuza undergoing a ritual fertility treatment, their father Ezekiel Odia dies suddenly, and all is lost. I love the simple, straight-forward way Emecheta writes about this family's faults and virtues alike. The reader comes to know them, and feel for them, and gain a sense of respect for their way of life - the way Africans selflessly care for their neighbo ...more
Gail Richmond
Jun 28, 2016 Gail Richmond rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 28, 2014 Darkowaa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed it more towards the end! Great, great novel. Sad. But very great.
May 08, 2009 Gisbelle rated it it was amazing
This story is one of my personal favorite. From this story, I learn about African culture and many others.
Rianne Smith
Jan 22, 2014 Rianne Smith rated it really liked it
This was a very quick read and not as suspenseful as The Joys of Motherhood. This book is simple and a lot more contrived towards being a love story. An amazing love story that doesn't have a happily ever after theme. It's filled with so much sadness and struggle while the hints of love brought fleeting bright moments. I felt like this book was set at a later time and it was more evident that parents saw the value in educating their girls. Tradition dying is a long rough drawn out death. I wonde ...more
Amy Y.
Apr 14, 2012 Amy Y. rated it really liked it
The book "The Bride Price" is about a 15 year old girl named Aku-nna whose step-father and mother wants her to marry a man based on the price the groom is willing to pay for her. Saddened, Aku-nna does not want to marry the man whom her parents picked for her, she is in love with her teacher named Chike. Her parents does not approved Aku-nna's relationship with Chike because he is the son of a former slave. Now, Aku-nna and Chike must hide their love before something goes terribly wrong between ...more
Apr 18, 2010 Yalcin rated it it was amazing
Q4- I would like to change Aku-nna's life if I had any chance to change. Because of that, Aku-nna who is main character in the story has very hard life after her father passed away. she gave birth although she is not strong. In the end of story she is going to die. If I were writer, I can save her life and the story might end happier. maybe she could not gave birth. She can ask her brother in law who is a doctor than she can escape her disease.

Q15- In "The Bridge Price" which was written by Buch
May 19, 2008 Jinbin rated it really liked it
Shelves: advisory-books
This is another book that i enjoyed reading in global lit. class. We were mainly focusing on the biases and stereotypes that people had on Africans. The book was about a girl named Aku-nna who was trying to overcome the tradition that her society had created. Instead of marrying to the man that her "stepfather"/uncle approves, she wants to marry for her love. Although Aku-nna succeeded her goal to marry Chike(man she loves), but she could not overcome her fate. At the end, she died at her first ...more
May 16, 2008 Sara rated it liked it
Another book read in global literature class, for out Africa Unit, we learn about stereotypes and biases especially in the society of Africa. Finding out where those stereotypes come from was one of the main focus of our unit because it help answer our essentail question of the year, which is what is the role and responsiblity of an individual in a society? As we read this book in our groups, from this book we find the theme of tradition vs. modernization. The protagonist, Akunna, strives to bre ...more
Apr 08, 2009 Mayla rated it liked it
This was a book assigned for me to read at school and I probably wouldn't have come across it if school didn't give me it. Ahhh it's amazing. Although I didn't love every moment of it, there were more good parts than boring ones. It's about an Ibuza girl named Aku-nna who moves to Lados with her family after the death of her father. In Lados, she falls in love with Chike, who is the son of a slave. In her tradition, it is shameful to marry someone so "low," so she is forbidden to see him. There ...more
I loved this book, this book really informed me about how the Nigerian girl, Aku-nna had to be married into a family but she loved her teacher Chike, they got married even though they weren't supposed to b/c she was wealthy and he was the son of a slave. She died in childbirth as a result of marrying against her bride price.
This book taught me that every girl who has a religion could do what she wants to do but there might be a huge consequence as a result to going against their religion.
I have
This book feels very claustrophobic to me: not just because the main character, Aku-nna, suffers under the overbearing influence of her male relatives, but because every time she manages to wrest some good out of her situation, the narrative inserts another painful twist into her life and yanks her back into misery. It's simultaneously disturbing and too melodramatic to be entirely believable. In some ways, Aku-nna's story seems less a story than a vehicle for Emecheta to explore several social ...more
Mar 22, 2011 Kenny rated it liked it
The Bride Price was about a young girl named Aku-nna and with her family. Aku-nna's father has past away and it gave an upsetting emotion to the family. Aku-nna has faced another challenge and it is moving to Ibuza and moving there, the family would have to get use to the place. Aku-nna started to get an education at the time she met her teacher. She has a brother. Aku-nna has had a huge life, like after she recieved her period, Aku-nna must get married. Aku-nna loves Chike, and both of them got ...more
Adrian Leung
Aku-nna the protagonist goes against her traditions that have been followed for many centuries. She is arranged to marry a man in which she does not know. her step father had arranged this, but she herself does not and runs away with the man she truly loves, which happens to be her teacher. although he has money, the step father does not like his past, well truthfully the past of his family. i think that it is wrong to have arranged marriages even though it has been around for so long. there is ...more
Aug 16, 2016 Youmi rated it it was ok
Maybe it was because I read a text adaptation (I was assigned this book for my English class) but I didn't care at all about the characters. All those horrible things happen to Aku-nna and I don't even feel bad for her. I was really detached from the story and I was only mildly interested in the parts about Nigerian culture.
MaryKai Boulton
Feb 18, 2016 MaryKai Boulton rated it really liked it
Sweet story. Growing up in a western society the traditions and cultures of the African people seem very demeaning and cruel. I suspect they think similarly of our traditions. A wonderful and eye-opening story of how the world works.
Apr 14, 2011 Huiyi rated it liked it
The Bride Price is a book on a African girl striving to live in a society where she is not supposed to do what she likes, but what that society, meaning her village, requires her to do. In her village, she is required to marry someone who will offer a good bride price, in order for her family to be economically provided with education and to lead a better life. This means that she cannot marry the one she loves; Chike, a male in this society who has the background of a slave, but to marry someon ...more
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Buchi Emecheta OBE (born 21 July 1944, in Lagos) is a Nigerian novelist who has published over 20 books, including Second-Class Citizen (1974), The Bride Price (1976), The Slave Girl (1977) and The Joys of Motherhood (1979). Her themes of child slavery, motherhood, female independence and freedom through education have won her considerable critical acclaim and honours, including an Order of the Br ...more
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