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Black Sunday

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Following the fate of one family over the course of two decades in Nigeria, this debut novel tells the story of each sibling’s search for agency, love, and meaning in a society rife with hypocrisy but also endless life

“I like the idea of a god who knows what it’s like to be a twin. To have no memory of ever being alone.”

Twin sisters Bibike and Ariyike are enjoying a
...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Catapult
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  59 ratings  ·  17 reviews


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Jerrie (redwritinghood)
3.5 The story of four siblings in Lagos who are abandoned by their parents and live with their grandmother had some excellent voices from the four characters. Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be any kind of plot. ...more
BookOfCinz
Feb 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Black Sunday is Tola Rotimi Abraham's debut novel, set in Lagos, Nigeria. The book follows the fate of a Nigerian family as they go from enjoying a comfortable life to falling into poverty.

Set in the 90s we meet a family of 6- mother, father, twin sisters Bibike and Ariyike and their two younger brothers-Andrew and Peter. Life for them is comfortable, they don't have much to worry about as their mother is the secretary of a political figure in Nigeria. With a change in government their mother
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Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this cleverly structured narrative following four siblings in Lagos, Nigeria. The movement between perspective and shifts in time reminded me a little of that structure in Homegoing, though we kept returning to each of the siblings as time advanced in this one. In terms of plot, I loved how "full circle" the narrative was and did not see at all how things would be wrapped up (always love being surprised by a narrative!). I think I enjoyed reading Ariyike's chapters the most, ...more
Catapult
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Following the fate of one family over the course of two decades in Nigeria, this debut novel tells the story of each sibling’s search for agency, love, and meaning in a society rife with hypocrisy but also endless life.
Kimberley
We meet Bibike and Ariyike as twin girls who've only recently entered their teenage years. While their family wouldn't be considered rich, they are comfortable--which is to say they have adequate shelter, consistent food on the table, and no real worries about their day-to-day lives.

However, when their mother is fired from an esteemed government job, and forced into taking a lower-paying one, their fortunes take a turn for the worse; eventually leading to their father taking a big gamble on
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Lauren Mendez
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-books-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katherine D. Morgan
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
CW: sexual assault

I finished this book two days and I still can’t figure out how I feel about it. It’s a very depressing book: I can’t even tell you if there’s a happy ending in it or not. I honestly don’t even know. There’s also a lot of sexual assault aspects to it. Like, a lot. And that made me extremely uncomfortable because I wasn’t expecting it. Honestly, this book rocked me. The writer did an excellent job. Just read with caution.
Paula
Feb 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Although this was a quick read, it was not an easy read for me. This is not a happy story, and was tough for me to read, and I’m not sure how to review this. I’ve read a lot of novels in recent years coming from African writers, and have enjoyed most of them. This is a different kind of novel, and it’s getting a lot of good press, and it is an interesting debut for this author. But honestly, I had a hard time connecting with it, and I’m not sure why. I found it rather incessantly depressing, ...more
Lilly Schmaltz
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Catapult for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Babike and Ariyike experience their lives change when their parents divorce and their household dissolves. They and their younger brother are placed in the care of their grandmother, a woman reluctant to raise them. Each must find a way to survive in the world and slowly lose each other in the process.

Black Sunday was a powerful read for me. It follows the perspectives of the four children: the sisters,
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Leslie Lindsay
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Painful wisdom...a fierce debut...a coming-of-age novel set in 1990s Nigeria (thru early 2000s) encompasses the lives of four siblings, financial ruin, estrangement, more.

Twin sisters, Bibike and Ariyike (teens) are living a relatively comfortable life in Lagos, Nigeria with their mother, father, and two younger brothers, Andrew/Andy and Peter. It's 1996 and their mother loses her esteemed government job and is forced to take a lower-paying position as a teacher at a local school; the school
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Christine
Feb 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020_read
I'd give this book a solid 3. I liked it and I never wanted to stop reading, but by the time I reached the end I felt two things: 1. there were too many people and things left to the imagination. That is, too many storylines with loose ends for my liking. 2. I wished that the author had given me more where the twins are concerned - that is, allowed me to like them more, or care more about what happens to them next.

Having said that, this book packs a powerful punch. It's not light reading.
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Angie
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-books, audio
Another beautiful story set in Lagos, Nigeria by a brilliant Nigerian writer!
Karlie Schaefer
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"If beauty was a gift, it was not a gift to me, I could not eat my own beauty, I could not improve my life by beauty alone."

A great debut novel by Tola Rotimi Abraham. Taking place in nearly present-day Nigeria, Black Sunday is moving, eye-opening, tough, and also somehow calming all at once. I truly love to read stories about places I have never been, immersing myself in a life I could never imagine before reading it in a book. The chapters alternate narrators between all siblings of the same
...more
Daniel Hooker
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Engaging family drama told through each of four siblings
Erin Ryan
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mikaela (Booklover1974)
This is a very depressing story and I didn't enjoy it.
Diane
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really fine writing and story.
Nicole
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