Reading Roundup – Friday 21st February 2014

February 21, 2014

Recently I was asked to review The Land of Honey by Chinenye Obiajulu.  This is the account of Zimako’s and Anuli’s, a professional Nigerian couple’s, experiences as they immigrate from Nigeria to Canada.  It deals with their struggles to adapt to Canadian culture and also to enter the Canadian workforce.  It is additionally a moving account of how struggle to adapt put a strain on what appeared to be a strong marriage.

What I liked

Well written and structured.  I appreciated that Obiajulu spent some time with the couple in their original home of Nigeria before their move to Canada.  This section of the book did an excellent job of introducing us to Anuli and Zimako and explaining their reasons for moving as well as the ties that continued to bind them to Nigeria.  Obiajulu describes Nigeria in a vivid and colourful way, making use of local dialect to add to the picture – there is a glossary of Nigerian terms included in the book.It is important to get a sense of where the couple is coming from, their values and what they hope to gain from the move to Canada.  

Relatable.  As an immigrant to Canada myself, I found myself very much relating to Anuli and Zimako and their experiences.  I actually found myself viewing the story through two sets of eyes.  I saw myself when I first came to Canada, full of excitement and certainty that a wonderful new life was waiting, but also with the eyes of a more experienced immigrant knowing the struggles and frustrations that lay ahead for them.   

What I didn’t like

I really enjoyed this book, but the ending felt a little abrupt and rushed.  I would have liked to have learned more about how Anuli’s story continued.

I gave The Land of Honey four stars out of five.

Added to my library this week

I picked up the Kindle version of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus.  So far, it’s really growing on me – expect a full review at some point.

Recently Amazon emailed me about a new YA book, Alienated by Melissa Landers.  It’s about a teenage girl who is chosen to have a humanoid alien L’eihr as a houseguest as part of an ambassador’s program to foster better relationships between the L’eihrs and humans.  I was intrigued by the synopsis and enjoyed the sample so will be reading it at some point.

Finally, my attention was directed to a YouTube trailer for The Return, a book I have reviewed.  Check it out.

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