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Everything Good Will Come

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  852 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Everything Good Will Come introduces an important new voice in contemporary fiction. It is 1971, a year after the Biafran War, and Nigeria is under military rule—though the politics of the state matter less than those of her home to Enitan Taiwo, an eleven-year-old girl tired of waiting for school to start. Will her mother, who has become deeply religious since the death o ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 13th 2005 by Interlink Books (first published January 12th 2001)
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  852 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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Feb 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: distant-lands
in my mind, because i am notoriously illiterate when it comes time to read the back covers of books, this was going to be a novel about biafra. and i thought to myself - "oh, i loved Half of a Yellow Sun, i will read this one as well and it will be excellent".

the back of the book clearly says it begins a year after biafra. and that's fine - it is more about post-biafra coups and reconstruction and the shock of aftermath, politically, but really that is all backdrop for this one woman's story, b
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Reading this felt like being told someone's life story, and the Nigerian context makes it especially interesting for me as I've now read a few books from Nigerian authors and settings. Since I was cooped up with her it’s a good thing I liked Enitan; her high spirits, sharp tongue, feminist discontent and friendliness towards other women like Sheri, whom her family and husband dislike, made her a firm friend from early in the telling.

The friendship between the two women is the most attractive th
Salma  Mohaimeed
هذه الرواية النيجيرية الثانية التي اقرؤها ، ولم يتغير شيء عن ما كنت أعرفه فالناس بين قطبي الفقر المقدع والغناء الفاحش و لاأحد في المنتصف ! يغمرهم فسادٌ كبير ،كبير ، كيفما تتخيله فهو أكبر ،سببه في رأيي مسلسل الانقلابات المتتالية والتي تخرج منه نيجيرنا في كل مرة بعملة أضعف و أمن أقل وبدون أية موارد ؛ و للنساء طبعًا نصيب الأسد من تبعات هذا الفساد وغنائمه .
"في الأفضل آت" تحاول الكاتبة النيجيرية/الإمريكية سيفي أتا إقناعك بأنه وبالرغم من الوضع المزري أعلاه فإن بطلتها تستطيع أن تملك زمام مسقبلها مستقل
Samir Rawas Sarayji
Shame! What a technically flawed mess! And hours of my life I'll never get back :(
This novel started out so promising and became more interesting as all good novels should, until page 175, and then...
The book is divided into three very unequal sections 1971, 1985, and 1995. The 1971 section sees the protagonist Enitan in her childhood, developing a friendship with Sheri (the next door girl) which she is forbidden to spend time with although it is never made clear why this, but she goes ahead an
Madolyn Chukwu
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have always maintained that women are the ones who can write best on matters that pertain to them, and this excellent book proves this. Sefi Atta is one of Nigeria and Africa’s best female writers. Here in this her novel we can see the plight and travails of women, no matter how educated or comfortable they might be. Finding a partner, religion and how it can affect the lady, miscarriages, delicate choices, etc – all is written about convincingly here. The main character Enitan, is one all wom ...more
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
This is an interesting and colorful, but also disjointed and rushed, story of a young woman growing up in Lagos, Nigeria. It begins in 1971, when she’s 11, and ends when she’s 35. Unlike a lot of African literature, this book seems aimed more at insiders than outsiders (unsurprising since it specifically discusses this issue), with the result that the story and setting seem complex and authentic, although some of the dialogue was confusing to me as an American reader.

There isn’t really a plot he
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Definitely a must read. It took me 2 mornings and putting off things I had to do just to get to the next chapter, and then next page until I finally finished the book. My first foray into contemporary west african literature. Not being a great fan of fiction I like how events and real life/practical events are brought to life throughout the book. As cliched as this sounds, it also adresses tensions we as "modern people" face and the choices we make despite and in spite of circumstance. Bottom li ...more
Davidson Ajaegbu
When an African writes, Everything they pen down is gold such is this masterpiece by sefi.

My only reservation is in all the socio-political commentary in this book, Fela's name was not mentioned even once.
Precious Williams
Mar 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: lovers of quality fiction, fans of contemporary Nigerian fiction
Recommended to Precious by: Catherine McKinley
Atta is every bit as gifted as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, but she receives far less recognition.
Aug 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book struck depressingly close to home for me. An incredibly compelling story held together by a not-altogether likeable narrator (which, strangely enough, tends to be my favourite kind - I enjoy a anti-hero(ine) which she isn't exactly, but I still found I felt somewhat ambivalently towards her), the novel tells the life story of Enitan, a Nigerian woman, from childhood through adolescence, early adulthood and marriage. At the same time,it sketches a picture of modern Nigeria from the time ...more
May 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic Nigerian novel!!! It was really, really nice to read something that was stylistically so different from American/European novels. It follows the life of a woman as she grows up and becomes a lawyer. One of the things that I most appreciated about it was that the protagonist, Enitan, makes very conscientious decisions about what she wants for her life, about being a "modern woman," among other thintgs.

"It's easier to walk around a rock," she said. "Than to break it down, and you still g
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This novel is about two African girls, one born of privilege and the other, a lower class. These two girls are so different, but friends throughout childhood and into adulthood. Through family tragedy and war torn Nigeria, these two friends come of age, and define their strengths in different ways. Well written, I found it a bit slow going half way through, but it appeared to be just a lull. The ending seemed rather bland. Very good character development!
Jul 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: african-lit, dnf
More like 2.5 stars. It has good commentary about growing up in Lagos in the 70s/80s, Nigeria’s political history, complicated child-parent relationships and how childhood friendships evolve. However, the threads weren’t tightly woven so it felt disjointed, like she had a checklist of issues she wanted to touch on but wasn’t quite sure how to bring them all together. I stopped caring about the story 90% through.
But it was one thing to face an African community and tell them how to treat a woman like a person. It was entirely another to face an African dictatorship and tell them how to treat people like citizens.
Reading this so soon after devouring Elena Ferrante's first three Neapolitan novels, I was struck by the overlap of interests of these books: a memoir-esque account of a girlhood friendship between two clever girls that remains a lifelong touchstone as they grow up to struggle against patriarchy
Mar 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014, fiction
Although this passage is not representative of the novel or what it's about, it was one of my favorite parts:

From Everything Good Will Come, pgs. 260-261
“And African authors, it seemed, were always having to explain the smallest things to the res of the world. To an African reader, these things could appear over-explained. Harmattan for instance. You already knew: a season, December-January, dust in the eyes, coughing, chilly mornings, by afternoon sweaty armpits. Whenever I read foreign books,
Dec 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
I was told this was a critically acclaimed Nigerian book so patriot that I am, I decided to give it a try. By the time I was halfway through I did not see any reason to finish it other than the fact that I had already started. I will not pick it up again except for a class, and even then I will be reluctant to do so.

It started out interesting enough. I liked the childhood story and found Enitan's friend, Sheri very complex and fascinating. Enitan was only interesting because of the role she play
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Can be a difficult read, but a good insight into a different way of life in Nigeria.
Giving this book 2 stars kills me a little bit inside, but I have to agree with the many reviews here: the editing needed tightening. In the first 40 pages, I was so absorbed in this story that I couldn't put it down. I had to know what was going to happen. I cared about the characters, I was intrigued with the political backdrop. Everything meshed so well. Then, the complexity began evaporating.

There were several instances in this book that seemed as if the author was just throwing in a femini
Muthoni Muiruri
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
We are introduced to Enitan when she is 11 years old and this for me is the more interesting bit/period of the book. Enitan comes from an upper middle class dysfunctional family where the mum is obsessively religious and the dad is a somewhat successful lawyer. She befriends her neighbour, Sheri, who is a rebel in every sense of the word, to the disapproval of her mother. The book follows their journey into adulthood and the choices they have had to make.

I would like to say that this is a book
Daphne Lee
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review first appeared on my book blog (https://reviewsviewsinterviews.wordpr...) on 17th Oct, 2016.

When I finished reading this book, I wanted to read it all over again. I felt it opened a window wide and I couldn’t get enough of the scene it framed. I wanted to go back and pick over everything slowly, paying more attention to each detail, thinking about each situation, analysing each character.

I am planning to move to Lagos, where Sefi Atta‘s Everything Good Will Come is set. Sure, the boo
Wazeera Sanni
Nov 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mwayi Louise  Gowelo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nate C.
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Enitan, at 11 years old, living in an affluent neighbourhood in Nigeria in the early 1970s, meets her neighbour, 11 year old Sheri Bakare, a headstrong miscreant with a knack for trouble, and this is pretty much where Enitan's life begins. Throughout the years, their lives intersect many times over, with a multitude of political conflicts acting as the backdrop. They try to find a woman's place in a country led by men, in constant state of political flux.

This book just kept giving. Enitan's char
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
J'étais très charmé au début, puis j'ai trouvé que ça s'étirait un peu vers le 2/3-3/4, pour reprendre intérêt plus près de la toute fin. Je le recommanderais néanmoins malgré les petites longueurs, ça m'a vraiment plongé dans une vie tout à fait différente de la mienne et dans un contexte social et politique très intéressant. Ça rend consciente du fait que j'ai quand même beaucoup de choix et de libertés...
Oct 30, 2018 rated it liked it
A young girl, Enitan, growing up in war torn Nigeria meets her neighbor, the beautiful Sheri. Sheri is the wild one, the one who uses people to get what she wants. The novel goes into their adulthood, where Enitan defies the system in Nigeria that insists on feminine submission, while Sheri uses her charms to manipulate the system. A story of love and survival through tragedy, family troubles and of course, Nigeria itself.
Annie Bumba
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I savored every page....

I loved how the author took her time to tell her story. A story empowering to the African woman ,but to women everywhere. This was my first reading from this author, I quickly became a fan. I must warn you that some of the facts in the book can be hard to understand and relate to if you are not from the continent of Africa and aware of the culture.
Simbiat Adetugbobo
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well I loved this book cause it basically talks about women and marriage and life generally, and how its difficult for even the men that claim to "support women" and how they actually aren't supportive.
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hmm, hva syntes jeg egentlig om den. Den beskriver et godt vennskap og kvinners rolle i en politisk ustabil stat. Boka virker egentlig litt for stor for meg, om det gir mening.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Living in a Nigeria steeped with tradition and at the same time embroiled in political upheaval, Enitan struggles to become her true self in a society where women have fewer rights than men and those who are independent and outspoken are seen as disrespectful and dangerous
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Sefi Atta was born 1964 in Lagos, Nigeria. She was educated there, in England and the United States. Her father Abdul-Aziz Atta was the Secretary to Federal Government and Head of the Civil Service until his death in 1972, and she was raised by her mother Iyabo Atta.

A former chartered accountant and CPA, she is a graduate of the creative writing program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. Her shor