Sunday 12 February 2017

A Bit of Difference, 2012, Sefi Atta ****

One of the reasons why I have not read this book for a long time is because of its low ratings on Goodreads and Amazon. My interest rekindled when I reviewed Americanah and one my readers said it is the same story line as A Bit of Difference by Seffi Atta. However, I wonder why it is so low rated. Most readers say it is because of the writing style, let me tell you, there is nothing wrong with the writing style it is just different and does not complicate the comprehension of the story. Some say that they do not like the ending, however, it is a typical open-ended story that does not deserve those low ratings.

A Bit of Difference is similar to Americanah, it talks  about racism, hair, love, immigration, family matters, homosexuality and nothing in particular. Seffi Atta intervened in the telling of the story and would not let
you reach conclusion yourself so did Adichie in Americanah.

Deola is 39 years old and still single, she lives and works in England. She narrates the constant and subtle racism she suffers from while being pressured by her mother to return to Nigeria and settle down. Life at home could be tedious and she is not sure if she would cope. In this story we also meet Deola's family members and relatives. Her brother Lanre who prefers women of mix heritage, her sister Jaiye who got married for all the wrong reasons to a husband who neither loves nor respects her and as customs requires, she is to stay put in her marriage. We also get to meet Ivie, sort of second wife to a rich politician, auntie Bisi and a whole lot of interesting characters. We also get to find out about the relationship among the different classes and ethnic groups in Nigeria, homosexuality, religion, infidelity and a whole lot more.

This is a novel that I strongly recommend, one of those novels you simply read for pleasure. I look forward to reading more by Seffi Atta. Have you read this novel? Did you low rate it? Let me know your opinion.

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  1. If it's similar to Americanah I guess people are rating both books based on the popularity of the authors?
    I love your reviews. This is another great one!
    I'm currently reading one of her books, Everything Good Will Come and I'm loving it so far.

    1. I look forward to reading your review on "Everything Good Will Come". Sefi Atta is good in her own right, of course she is not Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, because there is only one. However, I am not sure why this novel in particular is not very well received, perhaps those who read and enjoy it aren't on Goodreads and Amazon. Anyway, bear in mind it is an enjoyable read.

  2. I' glad you enjoy the book. We can't always choose a book based on reviews- good or bad.

  3. I'm always torn about how much weight to give to ratings. I do know that on average I will think more highly of higher rated books. And given the limited number of books I can read in my lifespan, doesn't it make sense to seek out those books? And yet there are always exceptions. So at this point, I try to pay some attention to ratings, but not too much attention!

    1. Biblioglobal, I will not lie, you are right, I pay atention to ratings, just the way I check hotel ratings and reviews, I do check book ratings and review before I read them. Unless, the writer is one I follow, for now they are Adichie, Emecheta, Achebe, Nwapa, Habila, Khaled Hosseini and Leila Aboulela, I hope the list continues to grow. I will simply purchase whatever they write or have writen whithout worrying about their ratings. They write to my satisfaction and pleasure.
      However, as you said, ratings can be misleading and might keep you away from a good experience or discovering a good writer. or even make you spend your money on a particular book you might end up not being interested in. Is that not why we are here? We the independent reviewers, I think that is where we make a difference A blogger whose review I follow and trust convinced me to give it a try and voilà, this is an exception.


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