“Bisi Adjapon writes with incredible vividness and clarity. Extraordinary.”—Dave Eggers, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
“Bisi Adjapon uses language like a finely tuned instrument, alternating moments of warmth with devastating revelations about identity, family, and those lies we tell ourselves in order to keep moving forward.”— Maaza Mengiste, author of The Shadow King
In this stunning debut novel—a tale of self-discovery and feminist awakening—a feisty Nigerian-Ghanaian girl growing up amid the political upheaval of late 1960s postcolonial Ghana begins to question the hypocrisy of her patriarchal society, and the restrictions and unrealistic expectations placed on women.
Young Esi Agyekum is the unofficial “secret keeper” of her family, as tight-lipped about her father’s adultery as she is about her half-sisters’ sex lives. But after she is humiliated and punished for her own sexual exploration, Esi begins to question why women’s secrets and men’s secrets bear different consequences. It is the beginning of a journey of discovery that will lead her to unexpected places.
As she navigates her burgeoning womanhood, Esi tries to reconcile her own ideals and dreams with her family’s complicated past and troubled present, as well as society’s many double standards that limit her and other women. Against a fraught political climate, Esi fights to carve out her own identity, and learns to manifest her power in surprising and inspiring ways.