Cannonball Passport: Still in Nigeria~
Adébáyọ̀ is on some well-trod ground with this, her second (?) book that examines the intersection between the haves and have nots—a dynamic replicated worldwide (oh hi, San Francisco/New York/London) but of particular interest when set in Nigeria, where most of the Western world assumes that there’s mainly have nots that need to be white savior’d.
Eniola is the eldest son of an unemployed father, a professor who cannot fathom taking a lower paying lower status role in the rapidly changing landscape of the late 70s/early 80s (based on some of the political changes that occur towards the end of the book). As a result, Eniola is forced to work for the local tailor, but without the money to pay for his unpaid internship he’s relegated to the lowest of the low ranks…until a wealthy patroness of the atelier decides to pay his fees for him. Said patroness is the mother of our second character, the permanently blessed Wuraola who is a doctor and set to marry her boyfriend, Kunle, the son of a prominent local politician who is thinking of standing for an upcoming governorship.
And those are just the initial threads! There’s tension in all the plot strings, which are set against the eventual coup d’état of Ibrahim Babangida (who I will not even pretend to have known about prior to reading this book—Adébáyọ̀’s works are the time to have Wikipedia open next to you. Eventually it did end up feeling like too many balls to juggle, and this book didn’t hold my attention in quite the same way that Stay With Me did. But it was enjoyable and went by quickly