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The Spider King's Daughter
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Excursions from Turkey 2013 > The Spider King's Daughter. Chibundu Onuzo

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message 1: by Betty (last edited Mar 26, 2013 11:28PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Betty (olderthan18) | 3639 comments The Spider King's Daughter . Chibundu Onuzo


Characters & Narrators
Abike Johnson
business tycoon father Olumide Kayode Johnson
chauffeur Hassan
friends Cynthia & Oritse
half-brothers Wale, Chief, &c.

Hawker G
younger sister Joke
wholesaler Aunty Precious
Mr T

Lagos, Nigeria 2006-2012.
another interview
"You need patience to write a book, you need joy for when you don’t feel the writing is going well, you need peace when you’re worrying that it will never get published, you need humility so that when you have a little measure of success you won’t start thinking you’ve ‘arrived’ as a writer..."

message 2: by Betty (last edited Mar 19, 2013 09:25PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Betty (olderthan18) | 3639 comments After a shocking, farcical beginning to the novel, Abike becomes attracted to Hawker G, a street hawker/runner of ice cream and Mentos. He and his supplier of goods, Aunty Precious, have a fifty-fifty business deal which saves her unfrequented Blessed Food Stores from closing. Monetary values are in naira (=100 kobo). Abike's point of view is written in italic print; Hawker's pov in regular. Despite their contrasting social circumstances, Hawker was not born indigent.

Besides the growing relationship of Abike and Hawker, there is Abike's relationship with her parents the Johnsons, in particular her father Olu, who is preparing her for the frustratingly real world marked by sly gamesmanship.

Betty (olderthan18) | 3639 comments I am guessing that Abike's slyer side later surfaces. Her friend Cynthia warns Hawker about her manipulativeness; her half-sibling Wale uses the adjectives "cruel, cunning..." about her.

Betty (olderthan18) | 3639 comments Suspense definitely building about Abike's personal characteristics--a 180-degree difference between her friend's/halfsiblings' statements and Hawker G's impressions about her. So, he's bewildered:
"Watch her. Keep your eyes open...she had her father's ear, his chequebook, his character...scheming, conniving, cruel: how could they be talking about the Abike that I saw every day on the road?"

Betty (olderthan18) | 3639 comments Surprising chapter 22 divulges Aunty Precious's early misfortune to Hawker G, bringing two unsavory connections (view spoiler) to respectable OKJ (="a man tall and dark with a mark blacker than the rest of his skin on the side of his face"). Will Aunty finally get justice?

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Not sure how I felt about the book. Very interesting ending to some degree, I felt it was a bit predictable but nonetheless the ending could have gone in any direction via the players. I will share more when Asma completes the book and/or when more readers contribute. Def don't want to post anything that will be a spoiler and ruin the experience. I am interested in seeing more from this author, great first time effort for such a young lady.

Betty (olderthan18) | 3639 comments Hi, Mal, Glad of your update about SKD. Will reply soon.

message 8: by Betty (last edited Mar 25, 2013 06:41PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Betty (olderthan18) | 3639 comments Chapters 28-33 open a new direction in the plot through information about the past, leaving the question of how do Mr T's, Aunty Precious's, and Hawker G's pasts coincide?

Betty (olderthan18) | 3639 comments Finished this novel which breathlessly moves to the surprising conclusion. Liked the dramatic parcelling of typeface to indicate the speaker, scenes (pov's) being registered from both the primary characters Abike and Hawker G.

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Asma were you really surprised at the ending? I saw it coming and I am by no means a Nancy Drew. Just curious.

Betty (olderthan18) | 3639 comments Yes, Mal, so suspenseful that going forward was with trepidation towards the conclusion. It is a very good first novel. I agree with you about reading her next novel. Her language evokes lively images for me.

message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

For a first time go I agree. I am curious to see what her next novella has in store. Fingers crossed this young lady improves with time. Looking forward to hearing input from others.

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