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Season of Crimson Blossoms

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  473 ratings  ·  95 reviews
An affair between 55-year-old widow Binta Zubairu and 25-year-old weed dealer Reza was bound to provoke condemnation in conservative Northern Nigeria. Brought together in unusual circumstances, Binta and Reza faced a need they could only satisfy in each other. Binta - previously reconciled with God - now yearns for intimacy after the sexual repression of her marriage, the ...more
Paperback, 313 pages
Published May 20th 2016 by Cassava Republic Press (first published January 13th 2016)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  473 ratings  ·  95 reviews


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Naz (Read Diverse Books)
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Originally published in my blog, Read Diverse Books

Ibrahim’s Season of Crimson Blossoms is unapologetically non-western and shines as an authentic work of postcolonial Nigerian fiction. As I was reading it, I often thought to myself how different in tone and language it was from almost anything else I’ve read, even compared to other Nigerian writers.

This novel proved to be a refreshing and needed addition to my reading history because it’s a story centered around Nigerian Muslims. About half of
...more
Lorraine
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I first saw the cover on my social media timeline and was intrigued and went on to find out more about the author and his debut book. I loved what I read and was captivated by the opening line: "Hajiya Binta Zubairu was finally born at fifty-five when a dark-lipped rogue with short, spiky hair, like a field of miniscule anthills, scaled her fence and landed, boots and all, in the puddle that was her heart."

Season of Crimson Blossoms upset me so much. Here we had Hajiya, 55 year old widow, who s
...more
Shawn Mooney (Shawn The Book Maniac)
I was drawn to this novel when I heard it was about a 55-year-old Muslim woman in conservative northern Nigeria who embarks upon a steamy affair with a 25-year-old weed dealer.

I'm incredibly fussy about prose. If I don't like the writing, I don't like the book; often, I don't finish the book. That said, I didn't much care for the writing here, but I really, really liked this novel. I'm as confused as all get out.

Ibrahim uses way too many adjectives, and some of them haven't been chosen precisel
...more
Chinenye Ikwueme
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have always admired this author from afar but after reading his first novel which I totally savoured and enjoyed except for the last two chapters which I really hated, my admiration for him brewed. Adams use of language, style irony, symbol and other well thought out literary devices in his book was very engaging. This book I must confess is literature in every sense of it. It reminds me of a good book I read in secondary school 'the last duty by isidore okpewho. I loved this book, it was wort ...more
Siyamthanda Skota
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jesus! This guy is majestic! I admire writers who deliver such splendind debut novels. I want to see him write crime fiction. He's got the skill! He can do it. He will do it... ...more
Chibueze
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a story about Binta, a 55 year old widow, in conservative northern Nigeria, who begins an illicit love affair with 'Reza', a 26 year old thug, gang leader and marijuana dealer. Binta, who was still haunted by the tragic death of her first son, met Reza, who was abandoned by his mother as a child. What began as a clandestine affair eventually led to outcomes that would impact them in significant ways.

This story reveals different shades of human emotions and desires in the social and cultu
...more
Boitshepo
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Hayija Binta Zubairu was finally born at fifty-five when a dark-lipped rogue with short, spiky hair, like a field of minuscule anthills, scaled her fence and landed, boots and all, in the puddle that was her heart."
That is how Season Of Crimson Blossoms by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim begins.

Hayija Binta, at all of fifty-five years old, and Reza, a twenty-five year-old drug-pushing gangster, fall in love. In their love of each other, they try their best to forget that:
Binta's youngest child, is older
...more
Sandra
Jun 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So well written...using dreams and flashbacks seamlessly. Amazing debut by the author. The story captures taboo subjects in such a relatable way.
Nuzaifa - Word Contessa
THE REVIEW

Set in post-colonial, conservative Nigeria, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim's Season of Crimson Blossoms is a story that transcends cultural, social, religious and geographical boundaries.

Through Binta Zubairu, a 55 year old widow and Hassan Reza, the 25 year old Lord of San Siro, Ibrahim explores the social, cultural and religious constructs in a censorious Muslim Hausa society. Cross-generational relationships in literary fiction tend to be about older men and much younger women so it was ref
...more
Zinhle Ngidi
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
More than 10 years ago, Binta, a 55 year old Muslim woman lost her husband. She was one of those that had been in arranged marriages, where there was no love, just sex as and when the man wants and he would get it the way he wanted it. Never allowed to explore anything.

As a widow, she stayed with her granddaughters as her children were all grown up and married.

When one day a young man, Reza, a 25 year old broke into her house everything about her life changed as she knew it. Reza, a leader of th
...more
Chitra Ahanthem
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When a debut novel starts with this line ‘Hajiya Binta Zubairu was finally born at fifty-five when a dark-lipped rogue with short, spiky hair, like a field of miniscule anthills, scaled her fence and landed, boots and all, in the puddle that was her heart,’ you know there is going to be heartbreak ahead and some characters that will linger long in your mind.

This story following a 55 year old widow who ends up in a torrid relationship with 25 year old weed dealer Reza bursts with the violence in
...more
Jerrod
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a moving story about forbidden love that is constrained by culture norms. It's a story about family dynamics when gender roles are starting to be tested. It's a story about trying to make it in a developing economy, and so much else. Binta, an older Muslim widow, begins an affair with Reza, an up-and-coming drug dealer (it's much better than that sentence makes it sound). We see Binta struggling with the tension between her desire for Reza and the piety required by her religion (which is ...more
Amaka Azie
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
That wonderful feeling after reading a lovely story! 😺
Oh I LOVED this book! A story about a tragic but endearing love affair between Hajiya Binta, a middle aged widow with adult children and Reza, a 26 year old weed dealer and school drop out. Their passion is intense, defying her religious inhibition and sense of morality. A lot of head hoping and switching POVs but still didn’t reduce my enjoyment of this very interesting book. I highly recommend.
Sumayya Lee
Sep 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
heartbreakingly beautiful
Anuja Chandramouli
Feb 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Abubaker Adam Ibrahim’s debut novel, “Season of Crimson Blossoms” is a tale of forbidden passion between a 50 something widow, Hajiya Binta and a young ne-er - do – well, Reza who is mixed up with drugs and dirty politics. The narrative simmers with the tension of a slow – burning fuse even with the foreknowledge that multiple orgasms usually translate into unmitigated mayhem.
This story could have easily devolved into a torrid or sordid romance between a cougar and a willing young buck but Ibra
...more
Muthoni Muiruri
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It’s been a while since I picked up a book that gets me right from the first paragraph. In most cases I have to wait for the story to build up to the 2nd or 3rd chapter for me to be completely engrossed. Not with this book!!

“Hajiya Binta Zubairu was finally born at fifty-five when a dark lipped rogue with short spiky hair, like a field of miniscule anthills, scaled her fence and landed, boots and all, in the puddle that was her heart.”

Binta, 55 years old, a widow, mother of 4 adults and grandmot
...more
Azeeza
Jan 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This debut is quite promising and the author writes well.
.
It is a story of an affair between Binta, a 55 year old woman who already has grand kids and Reza, a local gang leader and drug dealer. I loved the blurb. When I saw it was an affair between a 55 year old Hajiya and a 25 year old drug dealer. I was really curious and excited, but my excitement collapsed half way through the book. Why?
.
1. Reza reminded Binta of her first son who had died in the police hands and Binta reminded Reza of his
...more
Ericka Seidemann
Apr 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
On the surface, this novel is about the story between Binta, a 55-year-old grandmother, and Reza, a 20-something drug dealer criminal. Set in northern Nigeria, this affair is really a representation of the repressiveness of the culture of Muslim Hausa society. Binta is grieving the loss of her son, Yaro, and finds maternal redemption in her love for Reza. In turn, Reza finds solace in loving Binta, who reminds him of his mother who abandoned him when he was a child. I found this Oedipus/ Jocasta ...more
Juwi
Jan 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: diverse books, african stories, books set in Northern Nigeria, Muslim characters, literary fiction
It's set in Northern Nigeria a very conservative place and it's about this older Muslim woman who meets this thug and they end up having an illicit affair.

this book is diverse because it explores how older women (in northern Nigeria) have feelings and desires and also how society impacts relationships.

there were some great lines in the book and some profound moments and it deals with various issues as the different characters deal with their own demons. This book also made me hungry to try Nig
...more
Tiah

– Hajiya Binta Zubairu was finally born at fifty-five when a dark-lipped rogue with short, spiky hair, like a field of minuscule anthills, scaled her fence and landed, boots and all, in the puddle that was her heart. –

– Binta envied [this mother's] liberty she enjoyed, this luxury of calling her first child by its name and holding it and treating it like one's beloved. Such affection she, Bita, had never experienced from her mother, nor dispensed to her late son Yaro. –

– She dreamt in sepia. –
...more
Tinea
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
The depth of this book sneaks up on the reader, masked in the light, page-turning language of the trashy romance novels its teenagers cloak from parental view under their hijabs. Big topics: post-traumatic stress in children, ethnic and communal violence, drug (ab)use, corruption, patriarchal ownership and well-meaning control of women's bodies, relationships to God and worldly religion, the subtle ways powerful people can be gentle or coercive or not subtle: brutal. Sex and love across age and ...more
Afoma (Reading Middle Grade)
I thought it was an interesting storyline especially for one set in Northern Nigeria; a much older widow and a younger weed dealer. The author conveys sensuality and heartbreak really well and highlights the condition of Nigerian politics/politicians.

However, I was unsurprised by the arc of the story and felt like a few of characters' were not developed adequately. It felt incomplete and very predictable. I also really disliked the fact that the Reza character kept saying "you understand" at th
...more
Susan Kinnevy
Mar 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
I couldn't get through this book although I kept trying because it is a selection for one of my book clubs and very well reviewed. I thought the narrative was very contrived, with lots of Nigerian jargon thrown into dialogue in an attempt to make me feel I was transported to that country. But it didn't work for me, it was instead very off-putting and, to my mind, unnecessary. I didn't like the writing at all so I moved on, but it seems from the reviews here and elsewhere, that many other people ...more
Karen Ashmore
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This time, Abubakar Ibrahim proves Nigerians are the best story tellers. Not only was this book well-written but the plot was amazing as he traces the illicit love affair of a 55 year old Nigerian Muslim woman and a 25 year old gang leader. Not only was it a fascinating story but I also learned about the culture of Muslims in Northern Nigeria. Recommend to all who, like me, have fallen hard for Nigerian writers.
Carolyne Gathuru
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tragic in every aspect. The tragedy of unrequited love and requited lust, the tragedy of lost maternal and filial love yearned for, the tragedy of academic based vocational loss versus street vocational gain, the tragedy of political machinations of the old versus young and the sheer tragedy of religious unrest and its traumatic aftermath.... A tale so tragically told that it grips.
Karina Szczurek
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very moving debut novel. Will watch out for the next title by this author.
Shailee Basu
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Season of Crimson Blossoms,
by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim,
Published by Speaking Tiger (2017)
Genre: Literary Fiction, Contemporary fiction
Rating: 5/5


The writing in Season of Crimson Blossoms is unlike anything I’ve ever read. I was interested in the title since the book is centered around Nigerian Muslims- a place and religion that I know next to nothing about. I would definitely call this literary fiction since the book focused more on characters rather than the plot (which I loved).

Plot and Other Tho
...more
Esther
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book, africa, bib-libby
In the beginning, I did have some difficulties keeping the different names apart, understanding the different family relations, understanding the why and who of people living together. Though I admit, eventually it is not utterly important to keep all this totally straight. I guess it is also part of an African story that family comes in quite intermingled ways.

What I did like from the very beginning was the intensity with which I felt with the different characters, at least the ones most impor
...more
Puleng Hopper
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
A riveting novel about a forbidden, but consentual romanticl relationship between a 55 year old widow whose husband had passed on 10 years prior, and a 26 year old thug named Reza.

The setting is in conservative, religious, and patriarchal Northern Nigeria. The story is related against a back drop of political and religious intolerance.

Themes of polygamy, trauma, crime, prostitution, sexuality, ritual killings, parenting, rage and war are explored.

Excellent character development, I connected w
...more
Aman Garg
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am too overwhelmed to say anything about this novel. Do yourself a favour and read this beautiful piece of African literature.
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Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (born 1979) is a Nigerian creative writer and journalist.

His debut short-story collection The Whispering Trees was longlisted for the inaugural Etisalat Prize for Literature in 2014, with the title story shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing.

Ibrahim has won the BBC African Performance Prize and the ANA Plateau/Amatu Braide Prize for Prose. He is a Gabriel Garci
...more

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