From the back: Words can be hugely powerful . . .
The Harmattan wind scorches across Nigeria, and an old man lies dying. His community gathers to pay its respects; their haunting songs echoing in the warm twilight. Around his bed his family is gathered and they listen as he speaks his last words. Yet in the face of death this old man doesn’t talk of regrets, neither does he talk of petty grievances, instead he talks softly about life; how to survive, how to be happy and how to achieve self-respect.
My review: At 101 pages I thought this would be quick read, after all, I am behind in my reading for the year, behind on books I am reading for review, so I needed a quick read. So I picked up this skinny little book, with its not very small type and far apart lines. I didn’t read it as fast as I thought I would. Although small, it has a powerful message. I am kind of sorry I rushed through it.
Her grandfather did have life lessons, how to treat others, how to react to others treatment of us, told in a very plain, matter of fact way, not preachy. Tomi also talks about the traditions of her family and the village they live in, also matter of fact, this is the way things are:
“Traditions have helped preserve our culture for centuries. Being there by the deathbed to bid the old and dying relative farewell was one such tradition, and the opportunity was considered revered. I consider some of the other traditions either too inundating or obsolete, this was one I had no problem honoring.”
What shines through for me is the great love Tomi had for her grandfather, you can see it in not only the words she uses but the way she uses them. In the second part of the book you see also that her grandfather had a great love for her, she was indeed ‘his little girl’. This love is what make this book not just outstanding but also powerful.