This novel was mainly set in Sierra Leone and the United States. It focuses on a young lady from Sierra Leone, Finaba and her experience in her home country and her time in the United States. The story started around her initiation ceremony and the possibility of her circumcision. What I found great about the book was I was not sure if she got circumcised till after I read a considerable amount of the book so the author left me in suspense while reading it.
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Female circumcision was one of the issues the novel raised. The novel made me question if calling female circumcision, female genital mutilation is appropriate. Sexual violence and rape were addressed by the author as these were woven into the lives of the characters. The novel had a mini love story as Finaba was in romantic relationships and you know we all love a bit of romance.
Reading about Finaba’s move back to Sierra Leone was interesting because sometimes we may think the only attractive option is to move to the West. Her move back was around the time when there was a conflict in Sierra Leone. This shaped the story in that the characters were affected by the war, financially, physically and mentally. At a time, when there is conflict in the different parts of the world, the story caused me to reflect on the experiences of people in war-torn areas and their loved ones who support them from foreign lands.
Finaba explained why she wanted to return to Sierra Leone and her reason triggered my thoughts on why we choose to live where we do. The novel explored the possibility of Africans in the diaspora contributing to the development of their home countries through coming back to help. This idea is related to a call made by Ms. Walla, Cameroon’s first female presidential candidate in This is Africa Online for the region’s educated and young diaspora to return to join the public sector as many have skills that can transform the region.