Sunday 2 September 2012

The Bride Price, 1976, by Buchi Emecheta ****

I just finished reading this book and I seriously liked it. It is Buchi Emecheta's third novel I am reading so far, and I am so sure I am going to read more of her books and I hope to get to read all of them. She is so talented, I love her writings, she is a 5 stars writer, one of the best (if not the best) African writer and story teller of all times. I have officially proclaimed myself her fan. I have read The Joys of Motherhood, 1979, by Buchi Emecheta ***** and Second-Class Citizen, 1974, Buchi Emecheta *****, I loved and enjoyed them thoroughly they are all 5 Stars book.
This book narrates the story of  two young people Akunna and Chike in love, set in a village of Nigeria during the British Colony. They couldn't demonstrate their love publicly neither could they get married because of the nature of their tradition, even though they vowed to love each other no matter what. This book somehow told the story of the price they (their respective families too) had to pay for their love. It also narrates the cultural clash between their tradition (the Igbo tradition) the Christian religion and the European custom.
Buchi Emecheta, no matter how long or short her novels are she tends to divide them into contents, this helps structure her writings in a chronological way and it helps the reader to easily understand the story. Her story always about the problems women face in the Nigerian society, especially in the Igbo culture.
I am not used to citing quotes from the books I read because I try not to spoil the novel at all for future readers, but sometimes there are quotes that go not just right to my head but that also touches my heart. Quotes like:  "We do our share of the crying because it is expected of us, but what can one do when faced with death? It is a call we must all answer, however busy we are."
This was ridiculously funny, when a father was talking to his son -So his father wanted him to be a doctor or a lawyer or an engineer - the famous trinity careers of the Nigerian élite. It was perfectly all right to "my son the lawyer", "my son the doctor" or "my son the engineer", but whoever heard of anyone in his right senses saying proudly "my son the sociologist"? Even though this book was written between the late 60s and early 70s the famous trinity careers of the Nigerian élite haven't changed yet, as funny as it might seem, what Nigeria my beloved motherland needs most are SOCIOLOGISTS.
I really enjoyed this novel, I had doubts whether to give it 4 or 5 stars, I ended up giving it 4 because, the beginning of the novel made me feel as if I was reading a book for teenagers, and when the book started becoming very interesting it finally came to an end, so I felt 4 stars was best for it. I recommend you to read this book. It touched my heart in a special way.


  1. Good work, I am charmed with it!!!! from Portocolom....

  2. Nice review...u seem very excited about this book...keep it up

  3. Kenny! Thanks a lot. I was indeed. You should read it whenever you have a chance.

  4. Mary, this is a brilliant review. well written and insightful. You know I had a copy of The Bride Price but gave it to a friend to read because I was busy reading another book and now, she is on leave. I will collect it as soon as she appears and read it for review. Thanks you for this, love Celestine

  5. Celestine! I am expecting your review. Let me know your feelings about the book.


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