Book Review: Abidemi Sanusi's "Eyo: African Lolita"

by - 08:31

I went in reading Eyo: African Lolita not really knowing what to expect. The title does in some way give an idea of what it might be about, and while I was expecting a story in the vein of Chris Abani's Becoming Abigail, Eyo: African Lolita is more intense, more explicit and made even more heart wrenching due to the fact that the story it tells is something that goes on today. It's hard for me to review this novel without giving away too much, so instead I will give a very brief synopsis on possibly one of the most powerful and haunting stories I've read in a while. 

Eyo: African Lolita tells the story of Eyo, who at ten, is forced to leave her life in the slums of Ajegunle in Lagos for a better life in the UK. Or so she, and her family, thought. Told in four parts, we begin to see the painful experiences of Eyo's life from Ajegunle to the UK. There are other players in the game, and we also learn about them and how they are all linked to Eyo and her plight in the UK. 

After reading the novel I had to find out more about Abidemi Sanusi and it turns out she used to be a human rights worker specialising in conflict and gender issues, which is probably why she was able to tell such a complex story. She is also able to really portray exactly what each of the characters are thinking and going through, which makes the novel all the more real. This isn't an easy read, and many times I found myself literally feeling sick, but this is a story that needed to be told, a novel that needed to be written, and one that really must be read. I will say nothing more other than to recommend this extremely powerful novel. 

5 out of 5 stars

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