Daughters Who Walk This Path - Yejide Kilanko
Publisher: Penguin Books
Release Date: 2012
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Spirited and intelligence, Morayo grows up surrounded by school friends and family in busy, modern-day Ibadan, Nigeria. An adoring little sister, their traditional parents, and a host of aunties and cousins make Morayo's home their own. So there's nothing unusual about her charming but troubles cousin Bros T moving in with the family.
At first, Morayo and her sister are delighted but in her innocence, nothing prepares Morayo for the shameful secret Bros T forces upon her. Thrust into a web of oppressive silence woven by adults around her, Morayo must learn to fiercely protect herself and her sister from a legacy of silence many women in Morayo's family share. Only Auntie Morenike - once shielded by her own mother - provides Morayo with a safe home and a sense of female community that sustains her as she grows into a young woman in bustling politically charged, often violent Nigeria. (source: book blurb)
This book. I want it to be my best friend. No, my child. I want to hold it and rock it gently. I want to cuddle it. I want it to never leave my bag. I want to be flipping pages and caressing them; re-reading the chapters slowly. I want to get lost in each and every woman in the book. And when it makes me sad and cry all over again, I want to feel so deeply and immerse myself in those emotions.
A story of a lineage of women, of coming of age and of intense familial bonds. Women holding on to deep secrets, taught to live in silence – as only women can relate. Daughters who walk this path follows the life of Morayo from childhood to adulthood, and the strong and not so strong women around her. Morayo is only 5 when Eniayo her albino little sister is born. From an early age, she learns to be protective of her baby sister who faces ridicule from the society and friends. Even when Morayo suffers sexual abuse from her elder cousin Bros T, she still feels the need to protect and shield her baby sister from the evils of the world.
Forced to live in silence, when she eventually tells her parents of the sexual abuse, their reaction push her to suicide. She however finds a life-line in Aunty Morenike’s companionship and guidance. Aunty Morenike, an elder cousin also harbouring secrets of her own, becomes the constant in her life. We see Morayo forced to grow up faster than she should, trying to find her place. We experience with her the bad choices she makes and finding her way back.
This book is intense, it is deep. It touches on issues women globally go through such as rape, and especially within the family context, of children conceived and born out of such horrible experiences, promiscuity and the pressures the society places on women to get married by a certain age and get children. It has lessons too. Lessons on how to be strong women for our daughters, our sisters, our female cousins.
I loved it and could not find a single thing I did not like with the book. 5/5 rating for me. A MUST read.