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Changes: A Love Story

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A Commonwealth Prize–winning novel of “intense power . . . examining the role of women in modern African society” by the acclaimed Ghanaian author ( Publishers Weekly ).

Living in Ghana’s capital city of Accra with a postgraduate degree and a career in data analysis, Esi Sekyi is a thoroughly modern African woman. Perhaps that is why she decides to divorce her husband after enduring yet another morning’s marital rape. Though her friends and family are baffled by her decision (after all, he doesn’t beat her!), Esi holds fast. When she falls in love with a married man—wealthy, and able to arrange a polygamous marriage—the modern woman finds herself trapped in a new set of problems.

Witty and compelling, Aidoo’s novel, according to Manthia Diawara, “inaugurates a new realist style in African literature.” In an afterword to this edition, Tuzyline Jita Allan “places Aidoo’s work in a historical context and helps introduce this remarkable writer [who] sheds light on women’s problems around the globe” ( Publishers Weekly ).

208 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1991

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About the author

Ama Ata Aidoo

38 books310 followers
Professor Ama Ata Aidoo, née Christina Ama Aidoo was a Ghanaian author, poet, playwright and academic, who is also a former Minister of Education in the Ghana government. She currently lived in Ghana, where in 2000 she established the Mbaasem Foundation to promote and support the work of African women writers.

(from Wikipedia)

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5 stars
447 (25%)
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676 (38%)
3 stars
506 (28%)
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110 (6%)
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30 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 156 reviews
Profile Image for Cheryl.
464 reviews604 followers
February 9, 2022
Chey, dey drama nah easy oh. There is something so captivating about the emotional capital of these characters, something so intriguing about Esi's views about marriage and partnership. I love that Ama Ata Aidoo's novel follows the independent Black woman, a statistician, mother and wife who stubbornly seeks her own path, much to the chagrin of her friends and family. She disappoints many who are grounded in cultural practices, still, she creates her own bubble within the structure of cultural norms.

Who divorces a husband so in love with his wife? her family wonders. As if there isn't such a thing as frenzied obsession . Esi, fleeing a marriage of unrequited love for the love she finds in Ali, must decide whether she prefers to be his mistress or become his second wife. She chooses the latter. The plot and character are unapologetically bold, even if also held captive by societal structures. This is what makes Changes so fascinating. Fractions of African culture are explored gracefully, the institution of marriage examined seamlessly through story, and self-actualization permeates the novel as two bestfriends, Esi and Opokuya, inquire about each other and by doing so, uncover truths about themselves.

The picture on my book cover matches Esi's spirit, and it matches mine as I read this book. I laughed with Esi when she won, nodded when she explained how she imagined love and life, sucked my teeth when she became annoying, and cheered for her victories. Even within a patriarchal society where, as a second wife, she must avoid questions and ignore her husband's whereabouts, she still feels empowered to make choices that feel freeing. Most importantly, she has her bestfriend, Opo. Although the novel is about a woman whose idea of love is rooted in choice and independence, the novel is also about friendship, those from whom one seeks support when motherhood or marriage is overwhelming.

Changes won the 1992 Commonwealth Prize for Literature in Africa. It is a love story put into proper perspective that is reflective of the gender realities of the time. At first glance it may seem confusing, because of the experiment with genre. For instance, some of the story appears in lines, like a prose poem. Other sections resemble a play. What is certain is that this is laced with drama. And this is what I enjoyed most. Bring on the popcorn. I was hooked to these pages. Aidoo has written poetry and fiction, buy says she is the "happiest of all with drama." It shows.
Profile Image for Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship.
1,162 reviews1,259 followers
November 29, 2015
This is an interesting novella from a Ghanaian feminist author. I made the mistake of taking the subtitle (“A Love Story”) seriously, and so wasn’t prepared for the heavy material it actually contains – professional women struggling to find contentment in a society that retains traditional, conservative expectations about women’s roles. To the point that, within the first 15 pages, the protagonist is raped by her husband, then reflects that the concept of marital rape doesn’t exist in her society, and in fact other women would be jealous of her for exciting such passion.

I don’t mean to suggest by my rating that this is a bad book; the author does a good job of conveying the characters’ personalities and the societal pressures upon them. At 166 pages (it tops 200 only with the addition of a critical essay, which does provide some helpful context, as well as a glossary), it proved too short for me to get to know the characters or become accustomed to Aidoo’s writing style. She has some stylistic quirks, such as the scattered commentary set off in block quotes. It felt underdeveloped to me, though it appears that for other readers the book achieves exactly what the author intended.

As far as African feminist works go, I liked this slightly better than So Long a Letter, but not so well as Nervous Conditions, Happiness, Like Water or Zenzele.
Profile Image for Nathaniel.
113 reviews78 followers
September 27, 2007
This is my first exposure to Aidoo, who is better known for her drama than for her fiction. "Changes" is a compact and mature look at a woman's inability to find satisfactory companionship and love in modern day Accra, Ghana. The insights into polygamy from both the female and the male perspective were fascinating and the passages showcasing marriage negotiations and traditions were a definite highlight.

The writing itself is fairly spare and unremarkable, earning perhaps a mental grin now and then. At times it seems so matter-of-fact and confined to the protagonist's head that a reader wonders if it will devolve into a simple romance--which it never does. At its best it verges on deadpan and sports an understated, almost defeated sort of wit ("Although she knew there was nothing positively wild in how she was feeling about him, there was nothing negatively wild in it either. Definitely, she had no urge to run and scratch his face. Maybe if she had done, or shown her anger in any of the other ways she had planned, (he) would have felt better"). Throughout the novel(la?) the writing rings true and the characters are entirely believable.

The book is not at all oppressed by references to contemporary African politics or conspicuous references to poverty and misery. All the actors are comfortably middle class and the real target of Aidoo's analysis is Africa's understanding of gender.

I'll read another book of hers after this.
Profile Image for Leslie.
293 reviews113 followers
February 26, 2018
I quite enjoyed this 1991 offering by an author whose works I have been meaning to read for a long time. It is a love story that illustrates the tensions for women who don't want to be confined by static, "traditional" feminine roles.

In the Afterward by Tuzyline Jita Allan, she quotes Ama Ata Aidoo from an article Aidoo wrote for Dissent: "When people ask me rather bluntly every now and then whether I am a feminist, I not only answer yes, but I go on to insist that every woman and every man should be a feminist---especially if they believe that Africans should take charge of our land, its wealth, our lives, and the burden of our development. Because it is not possible to advocate independence for our continent without also believing that African women must have the best that the environment can offer. For some of us, this is the crucial element of our feminism."

My only qualm with this book is that this edition was not edited carefully.
Profile Image for Julia971.
281 reviews26 followers
October 31, 2020
Reading the synopsis, I knew this book was the book for me.

Women voices , tradition, modernity, womanhood, sorority, mariage, truths, lies, choices ...
These are all the subjects of this book. The plot follows mostly Esi: a wife and mother, considering divorce as a possible solution to fix her problems. The other characters are not as developed so I would say Esi is the main character and I felt her pain, I wondered what the new path she was creating for herself would bring to her.

It's not a feel good book; it's not "there is no problem, only solutions" it's more: "there is no solution, only problems"; but in a real, interesting, captivating way.
Profile Image for Anetq.
1,059 reviews42 followers
July 26, 2018
For better or worse a story about women's situation in Ghana - On the surface it is a love story: Esi is fed up with her husband and decides to leave him - and divorce him (even though he doesn't beat her, which seems to be the only valid reason for doing that). But she also falls in love with another man. And that is a bit complicated and makes for a lot of changes in her status and life in general.

Women's status is the point of the book - sometime explicitly, like when the two friends have this conversation:
But Opokuya wasn't having any of her self-pity. So she countered rather heavily: 'Why is life so hard on the professional African woman? Eh? Esi, isn't life even harder for the poor rural African woman?'
'I think life is just hard on women,' Esi agreed.
-> Ah, the eternal argument any woman wanting equal rights and opportunities will meet: "but there are women worse off in other places" [so you should just shut up and take it - may I recommend [book:Women & Power: A Manifesto|36525023] by Mary Beard to anyone who want to trance that theme back to ancient Greece!]
5 reviews6 followers
August 28, 2007

Ghanian women and Modernity: Independence?

Modern Ghanaian women suffer daily sacrifices, lifelong barriers to their advancement, and an emerging modernity which has multiplied their duties but not simplified their lives. Changes focuses on a three year period in the lives of Esi Sekyi, Opokuya Dakwa, and Fusena Kondey, three women approaching their mid thirties in Accra, Ghana.
In Changes we can see the evidence of a complex struggle in the name of modernity between African women and society, families, traditions, and their own desires. From the perspectives of Esi, Opokuya, and Fusena, Aidoo shows us how such modern African women view their lives, and with what methods they are willing to fight to improve their lives.
Esi, Opokuya, and to a lesser degree the much-suppressed Fusena, fight against more than just an accumulation of oppressive tradition that favors men. They struggle for appreciation of their talents and for an equal part in guiding their marriages. Esi and Opokuya struggle to build marriages and relationships that allow them to reap their benefits of their individuality and their educations, and exercise their own free wills, without making them overworked, or being labeled mad women and witches. The reaction of their families, husbands and communities to these women reveal modern dilemmas for educated African women.

Aidoo's love story traces Esi's distinctly rebellious and independent path to love and marriage, as contrasted to the more traditional married lives of Opokuya and Fusena.; in doing so, the novel illustrates women challenging a postcolonial African society on all fronts. This front is as diverse as the workplace, in hotel bars, in the kitchen, on the road driving alone in their new cars, in the rural traditional village, and in the bedroom. Despite often finding that lonely independence is untenable, Esi and Opokuya achieve moderate success in their fight. Their resiliency indicates shifting gender roles in Africa, and some compatibility between tradition and these new roles.

I give this book 5 stars because ot is an extremely rich story told frankly and believably. The material even seems politically important (perhaps all novels should try to be so?) in that it addresses real problems facing Africa and does not always provide answers, although it certainly proveds a rich cast of characters attempting to do so.
Profile Image for Adira.
460 reviews245 followers
April 26, 2017
I gave this book a 4.5 stars.

I found that this novel was a lesson in love for me. Aidoo presents us with the story of Esi, a Ghanain woman who has been thoroughly educated about the world but, not about love.

Esi's character reads like a modern soap opera about a woman who has grown tired of her neat marriage and has started to crave adventure even though Esi herself labels this longing as a desire to not be under the thumb of any man especially, her husband, Oko, who she sees as a mama's boy who is looking for a maid opposed to a wife. To rectify this conundrum, Esi decides that she will separate from her husband to live the life that she has always wanted. However, while living this life, she finds a new love interests in Ali, a devout Muslim man who offers her the chance to be his second wife after their torrid love affair. From here many emotional and social problems commence.

Aidoo writes a novel that is full of cultural nods toward the ever present battle between European and African civilizations. Thankfully, none of these nods come off as preachy or as being blatant PSA's on what the "White man has done to us." This novel shapes up to be an intellectual version of chick lit. Well written and persuasive at some points, the novel gives the reader a look into a modern Africa that is not often talked about. The novel is good for anyone who wants to expand their horizons into a broader sphere of world literature without becoming too overwhelmed. I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who wants a chance to look at postcolonial African cultures or just wants a different type of beach read.
Profile Image for Rowland Pasaribu.
376 reviews70 followers
May 18, 2010
The Power of Education

All of the major characters in the novel are well-educated. Their education is not only the mark of their place in society but also an ironic and elusive symbol that signifies both change and stasis at the same time. The two primary lovers in the novel, Esi and Ali, are also the most highly educated. Esi holds a master’s degree, and Ali has studied in France and England. Upon hearing of Ali’s second marriage, the first question that his wife, Fusena, asks him is whether or not the woman has a university degree. This question highlights the degree to which education symbolizes progress, modernity, and independence for the women of the novel.

For Esi, her education enables her to have a well-paying job that can secure her independence. It is precisely that independence that attracts Ali to her, and it is the same independence that earns Esi the scorn of her first husband’s family. Esi’s education sets her apart from traditional African culture, making her feel alienated from her mother and grandmother, neither of whom can understand her attitudes towards marriage and work. Ali is as educated as Esi, and like her, he struggles to balance the two worlds in which he lives. When Ali proposes to his elders that he take a second wife, they are shocked. For them, Ali’s education has propelled him into a new world that does not allow for such actions.
Profile Image for Moji Delano.
99 reviews7 followers
November 15, 2019
When I first started this book I almost liked it.
Almost because I liked the Characters I was introduced to but noticed some inconsistencies in the writing.
But when I got to know the characters my initially opinion changed and I finished the book NOT liking what I had read. It had nothing to do with the little writing inconsistencies and more to do with how annoying the characters turned out to be. We have a heroine who initially appeared to be a career woman and feminist but turns out to be confused and didn't even know what she wanted from relationships and lacked self love. And then there's her love interest, an entitled scum empowered by a patriarchal society regardless of his education. The sad thing is despite the fact that this book was written in 1991, the characters still reflect the folly of many in today's African society where not much has changed.
I only managed to finish it because it was being read by my virtual book club, so I wouldn't recommend it. Maugre that however, it wasn't wasn't a bad book.
Profile Image for Louise.
826 reviews
June 15, 2011
I was expecting more from this book. I found the writing ordinary and the character development lacking. In fact, I did not like a single character in this story. I think I might have liked Fusena had we gotten to know her better but I found both Ali and Esi rather self-absorbed. Esi's parenting skills left much to be desired as well. The topic was interesting though, and expertly handled by Ama Ata Aidoo.
Profile Image for Heta.
316 reviews
December 10, 2018
This book had an incredibly promising premise, but I ultimately ended up wanting more from it. I felt like the time structure, with a lot of juvenile jumps in time with those "It had already been a year since..." type of lines that I despise, was just so off and constantly pulled me out of the story. Aidoo's women - Esi, Opukyua, Fusena - are charming, the men rather onedimensional and ones I did not care about at all. Could have been much, much better, but also much, much worse.
Profile Image for Sadye Storey.
Author 6 books2 followers
May 12, 2017
How much happiness is a woman allowed to pursue? If a woman's happiness is selfish, is she still allowed to pursue it? These are some of the fundamental questions Changes asks.

A must read for anyone interested in postcolonial literature.
Profile Image for Carmen.
2,189 reviews
January 27, 2021
"Yes, Mma. Yes, Auntie. Yes...yes...yes," was all she said to every suggestion that was made. The older women felt bad. So an understanding that had never existed between them was now born. It was a man's world. You only survived if you knew how to live in it as a woman. What shocked the older women though, was obviously how little had changed for their daughters -school and all!
Profile Image for Kansas.
607 reviews292 followers
October 27, 2019
Es la historia de Esi y su lucha por encontrar un sitio en un mundo cada vez más moderno y estresante, y sin embargo también un mundo todavía muy enquistado en ciertas tradiciones que le impiden evolucionar. Esi está casada y tiene una hija, y además profesionalmente tiene éxito, incluso gana más dinero que su marido, y quizás ese sea el problema porque la insatisfacción de Esi le viene también por las presiones de su marido que no es capaz de gestionar el tener una esposa trabajadora y económicamente mas autosuficiente que él, que viaja y que ha decidido no tener más hijos.

" could I have done more than I did as a wife and a mother, and still be able to compete on an equal basis with my male colleagues in terms of my output? How can I do more than I'm already doing and compete effectively for promotion, travel opportunities and other side benefites of the job?"

Esi no es la única mujer en esta novela, hay varias y cada una de ellas responde a un tipo diferente social y cultural, pero todas tienen el nexo común de ser mujeres africanas, emocionalmente siempre presionadas por esta sociedad patriarcal tan cerrada, tienen que abrirse paso a codazos a fuerza de sacrificar muchas cosas, personas, en el camino. Ellas tienen que sacrificarlo casi todo, lo tienen mucho más dificil, siempre cuestionadas, casi siempre utilizadas.

Siguiendo con mi enganche con la literatura africana que descubrí recientemente, Ama Ata Aidoo es otra escritora africana que he conocido, maravillosa y luminosa, cuantas joyas literarias tiene Africa y que invisibles siguen siendo, ojalá sean mas editados, sobre todo las autoras que no dejan de sorprenderme una y otra vez por ese mundo de mujeres fuertes y valientes, continuamente combatiendo desde dentro, desde casa, desde sus emociones para encontrar su lugar en este mundo. Changes es una novela realista, de ahora y universal.

Mensaje a las editoriales españolas: Necesitamos más autoras africanas!!!
Profile Image for Stef Rozitis.
1,506 reviews71 followers
January 26, 2022
More fool me for letting this take me so much by surprise. In my head I was hedging about African women's lesser access (supposedly) to feminist discourse. In my defence I am not being racist (I hope) but African friends themselves intelligent and somewhat feisty women have said that in their own continent they have to keep their feminism undercover to avoid upsetting the fragile men (men of every culture seem fragile).

This book was as complex and courageous as even I could have wished. I kept suspecting it of trying to redeem either Ali or Oko and bracing myself to be cross. Then the twist right at the end again I was cross. But Esi ultimately dealt with them all, even if she managed to have some fun along the way.

The critical notes at the back pointed out many of the things I had noticed but also added context from other African women writers and other relevant events and writings. This has prompted me to seek out other feminist African writers as well as reading more from Aidoo who has not exactly been welcomed into her calling by literary men.
Profile Image for Janaki.
11 reviews6 followers
May 30, 2018
This is a text that once again fleshes out what Gayle Rubin called the 'enormous diversity and monotonous similarity' of women's lives. Set in urban Ghana in the last decade of the 20th century, Aidoo's female characters struggle to make sense of a world where 20th century women's expectations of life, love and career scrape against a new modern patriarchy that simply cannot comprehend their dissatisfaction or unhappiness. Written with occasional wry humour and compassion, Aidoo doesn't caricature anyone - men or women- and provides a glimpse of a post colonial society without smoothening out the complexities. The writing was pitched well except for some surprisingly tritely written portions especially regarding the interaction between two female friends.
Profile Image for Sonja.
218 reviews14 followers
February 16, 2023
Changes, a Love Story was written by Ama Ata Aidoo, the well-known Ghanaian feminist writer. Reading the book was a fascinating journey into womanhood and Ghanaian women’s views of men and marriage in a post-colonial Muslim society. How do women who have careers react when men who have more freedoms and patriarchal power behave in the old ways? What does a woman do when she is unhappy in a marriage?
In this book we see a modern Ghanaian woman not only accepting the role of a second wife but discussing her choices with family in the traditional way. The Changes Aidoo is showing are those of modernity within African tradition. There are so many changes but there is a strong layer of tradition.
Ama Ata Aidoo Has dedicated her life to helping girls become more educated and bettering their situations. She has written novels, poetry and essays and has been an educator, including a minister of education in her country. She created an organization to support African women writers. I thank her for giving the world this and all her books.
This is a book worth reading. I have a much fuller picture of life for a woman in Ghana. The tone and the telling seemed almost flat to me but perhaps it is a feeling of sadness that is being conveyed by the author. The secondary place of women in the world is inescapable and tragic no matter where we live.
Profile Image for Nikhil.
337 reviews30 followers
October 14, 2019
A portrait of the shifting landscape of marriage and women’s social standing in post-independence Ghana. The changes bring trade offs, with unforeseen costs and benefits. The rich depiction of three women’s different marriages, each with their own troubles, betrayals, and benefits, are the heart of the novel. The text is pessimistic as to whether current marriage structures can provide fulfillment for women — none of the different structures work in the face of male ego, control, violence, and betrayal. The text calls for different social relations and understandings of divinity — one in which some humans aren’t gods, and the gods aren’t male devourers — before marriage can actually be liberating for women.
Profile Image for Mora.
615 reviews19 followers
March 17, 2021
i think there's a lot that's smart in this book but i am wholly unequipped to understand it and its nuances simply by my lack of knowledge about the culture. the afterword was also really interesting and illuminated aspects for analysis i wouldn't have noticed otherwise. cw for rape and cheating.
Profile Image for Malaika Aryee-Boi.
19 reviews1 follower
February 11, 2021
Thoroughly enjoyed this. Left me sad at the end but yeah Ama basically said men are trash but in 167 pages.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
500 reviews11 followers
March 21, 2021
I thought this was okay. I didn’t really have too many expectations, and I did enjoy that the focus shifted between the characters a bit, but the transition of time was always jolting for me. I thought some parts went on too long and others not long enough, and the end was pretty abrupt. Overall, this was an interesting enough story but not particularly exciting.
Profile Image for SEKAYI TIGERE.
40 reviews4 followers
June 8, 2022
I loved this book. Really thought provoking and heavy on the emotions
Profile Image for Wanderer.
33 reviews
August 2, 2017
Like a chilled beer served on a hot afternoon, I gulped it fast. I read it at a go and did not put it down until I had sucked the author's words dry. My first encounter with Ama Ata Aidoo and she completely held me hostage.

This book left me with so many thoughts, thoughts that I am yet to organize, internalize and make sense of chiefly on account that her words and points of view were so relatable. Writing about the love that eludes us the most, the only love, other than agape, that can soothe the soul and satisfy the spirit, the one which we all need but most of us do not receive. The love of oneself. That's the good stuff right there.

And how should women allow themselves to be loved by their men - the all consuming love that makes her a prisoner of the man who constantly demands more and more of her to the effect that she has nothing left of herself. In the alternative, should she opt for the kind of love that gives her to indulge in self-love at the cost of losing the presence of the man who arouses her desire? Does it have to be one or the other? Is there a middle ground? Too complex. And how does one show love to his woman? Does he subdue her? Is he to seduce her? Is he to take advantage of her moment of vulnerability? Does he do it by giving in or by standing firm? Better yet, should you let your woman know that you love her or will she walk all over you?

Who should we listen to, our mothers and grandmothers whose wisdom emanates from all they have seen? Do we trust in the old adage that there is nothing new under the sun and as such we are beholden to the HIStory from days long past? Or do we trust in the knowledge of the modern day -that happiness is within our grasp and it is for us to reach for it in any manner we deem fit. Is it love when one sacrifices happiness for another or is that love when ones needs are met and one is content? Where do we draw the balance? What do we accept and what do we discard? How far do we push the boundaries? Too deep.

Should she sacrifice her ambitions and plans for her husband and children or should she sacrifice her husband and child for her career? What happens when the said husbands revolt against your choice - when he brings another wife who did not sacrifice her ambitions but instead chased the dream and got the education and the job? What to do when he serves her forced canal relations for breakfast lest she forgets that her place is in his bed and not her precious office - isn't she a wife after all? How to reconcile the demands placed on women by their domestic arrangements and their careers as well as society as a whole?

Can a man who loves you? Loves you to the point of accepting ridicule from his friends and family on your behalf force himself on you? Can he by a perceived act of love, make you feel like dirt? What is love? What is rape? His desires, Her desires - where do these two join?

Is it better to be single? Are you still single when you rely on friends (who call themselves your husband) to occasionally fulfill the need for companionship? Is it a marriage when you know he has another wife and mistresses with whom he splits the time that should be reserved for you and your children - this is in addition to his extended family, his friends and his career? What is marriage? What does it mean to be single? Do we understand the difference between the two? or are the lines demarcating the two too blurred?

Should you stay when he loves you but insists on mostly getting his way? Do some women get it all - the career, the satisfied husbands and well nurtured children? Are the ones who get to keep the job and the man the ones who do not outrank or are at par with their husbands (Nurse/Eng combo -
live in his government issue house- vis-a-vis Statistician/teacher combo - live in her government issue house) Is it okay to covet the lifestyle of your woman friend who walked out of her marriage into the arms of a man who spoils her? Is it okay to covet your wife's friend when you see her vulnerable - even when she is the estranged wife of a close friend? Is it permitted - are there any ramifications for such lust? Should there be? On that note - can you go back to a man who sets up house with another woman but maintains that it was always you and that you may go back whenever you commit to doing so? Uugghh these ways of ours!!!!

The four star rating is on account of the fact that I still have to turn all these questions in my mind? Maybe I should re-read the book at a comfortable pace to figure everything out.
Profile Image for Lise Petrauskas.
291 reviews38 followers
April 7, 2016
This short novel about a Ghanian woman is a rather a diffusely told story. The narrative hops around to focus on different characters' backgrounds, but certainly Esi is the main character. Ostensibly about Esi's

A week after finishing the book, one of the things that really sticks with me is is a subtle, almost subversively humorous tone that runs through the book, most evident when Esi and Opukuya find themselves laughing about their lives. I really appreciated how the book deals frankly with the practice of polygamy in traditional Ghanian cultures and how those family structures function (or not) in modern day Ghana and specifically how different women deal with the realities of family and career. I particularly liked this quote:

"What she wanted to add but which she didn't, was that it was meaningless for Esi to say that she and Ali were going to be happy. In a polygamous situation, or rather in the traditional environment in which polygamous marriage flourished, happiness, like most of the good things in life, was not a two-person enterprise. It was the business of all parties concerned."
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