Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Twisted in a Positive Way by Chikamso Efobi

Twisted in a Positive Way is a charming novel by UK author Chikamso Efobi. I love a good coming-of-age story and this one doesn't disappoint. The story follows Adaugo, a young Nigerian girl on the brink of big life changes. She comes from a large and happy family who encourage her to strive for success.

When Adaugo is ten she leaves home for boarding school. That's when she discovers a voice inside her that helps guide her through these difficult new experiences.

As an adult Adaugo is expected to conform to cultural standards. She has a job, lives in her father's house, and is supposed to be finding a husband. But she knows that she wants something more for herself. She realizes that she has to stop caring about the opinions of others and take a chance on her future.

Twisted in a Positive Way is elegantly written. I felt the nervous excitement of Adaugo as she left home as a little girl and the heartbreak when she struggled through the trials of growing up away from her family. The contrasts of Adaugo's world to my own are what kept me glued to the story.

Chikamso Efobi has painted a stunning picture of Nigerian culture. I loved that this book took me into a world that's completely unfamiliar to me. By her use of dialogue, the reader is immersed in the language and culture of Nigeria. I could hear the voices and inflections of the characters in my head. Efobi explained her style to me:
"I wrote the story to reflect the local Nigerian expressions. Translations of most of the expressions are written immediately after, so as not to lose people who are not very familiar with how Nigerians speak in an informal setting. Nigeria has over 52 languages and it is not uncommon to find the average Nigerian inserting words from various languages into one sentence. There is also a lot of animation when we speak, that's why you may see the odd 'o' here and there."
If you're looking for something beyond the same old story, Twisted in a Positive Way is definitely a novel of substance. This book will inspire you to strive for the things you're told you can't have. If not, well your life must already be pretty awesome.



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