Hello! I’ve taken quite a break there. It was unintentional – my anxiety kind of took over my life, I haven’t even been reading a lot. But I have read a few books, so I thought a review would be a nice way to ease into posting.
- Publication date: August 4, 2020
- Age demographic: Adult
- Genre: General fiction
Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men.
But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.
Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.
I went into The Death of Vivek Oji completely blind and I think it made me enjoy the book more. Although, maybe “enjoy” isn’t the right word.
This novel is thought provoking, beautiful and sad. As the title suggests, the story focuses on Vivek, our main character, and his death. But, more importantly, it also focuses on Vivek’s life and the lives of his family and how his life and death affected them. It’s set in the 1990s Nigeria.
The book is short, yet filled with so many important topics of conversation. It explores identity like no other book I’ve read before. Vivek is misunderstood by those close to him, who chalk up the visible changes he goes through while growing up to mental illness or possession. Although there are early clues from Vivek’s childhood to who he is, even his parents chose to ignore them and deny him until it’s too late.
I know I’m being very vague when it comes to Vivek’s identity, but like I said, I went into this book blindly and I think it’s the way to go. Fair warning, though, the book is quite heat-breaking and explicit. It might also be important for those who are sensitive readers to look up the trigger warnings (I am not sure how to warn against things myself, hence why I haven’t done it).
I’ll be picking up more Akwaeke Emezi’s work because they are a terrific writer, for sure. 4 stars purely because of one plot point I didn’t quite understand or agree with (that many people have also mentioned in their reviews).
Rating and recommendations
For fans of:
Honestly… I have no idea. It’s like nothing I’ve read before.