Review by Booklist Review
Growing up in Ibadan, Nigeria, in the 1980s, Morayo has an idyllic childhood playing with her beloved younger sister, Eniayo, and falling in love with a thoughtful schoolmate, Kachi. But Morayo's life is turned upside down when her cousin, the surly and manipulative Bros T, slips into her room one night and assaults her. The attacks continue until Morayo, fearing Eniayo will suffer the same fate, tells her parents what Bros T has done to her. Bros T is sent away, but no one in Morayo's family will speak to her about her ordeal, until her aunt Morenike, who was also raped as a teenager, takes Morayo under her wing and offers her niece an outlet for her pain and anger. Morayo earns a place at the University of Lagos, but her many dalliances with boys at school garner her an unwanted reputation. When Kachi unexpectedly comes back into her life, Morayo can't envision a future for them. Kilanko's debut is a powerful and completely involving bildungsroman that peels back the layers of women's lives in modern-day Nigeria.--Huntley, Kristine Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
The perils of growing up female are amplified by the social and political inequalities of modern day Nigeria in Kilanko's debut novel, a coming-of-age story about Morayo, who lives comfortably with her family in the town of Ibadan, where the threat of violence lingers, seemingly around every corner. In this male-dominated setting, Morayo and her little sister Eniayo are thrilled when charming older cousin, Bros T, moves into the expanding household. With his good looks and persuasiveness, Bros T seems capable of sweet talking his way out of anything. As he gets closer to the family though, Morayo learns of the destructive potential of his charismatic smile. Unable to speak openly about the torment of Bros T to her conservative family, Morayo withdraws into a protective shell until she discovers a kindred soul in her Aunty Morenike. With a dark past of her own, Aunty is the only one Morayo feels comfortable opening up to in a repressed social climate unwilling to recognize these all-too-common struggles of female adolescence. Although Kilanko's background in social work is used to good effect, her characters' pain never becomes truly palpable, and the overly precious, wooden prose cannot withstand the more serious issues the novel broaches. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.