Bitter Leaf by Chioma Okereke


I have to start off by saying how biased I was with my book selection. I gravitated towards this title solely based on my Nigerian ethnicity and heightened awareness of influential women. Nonetheless, anyone can pick this book up and fall in love with it like I did. I borrowed this from my sister Jeanny while visiting her in Houston; she has so many cultural books in her collection. I’m usually drawn to autobiographies and memoirs about male figures, but the fact that I shared ethnicity with the author forced me to give it a shot.

I won’t lie, the book started off tepid. The introduction of characters seemed sporadic and confusing, and the traditions of the Mannobe village (the setting of the book) seemed to carry on forever. Once I got a quarter through the book, the plot started to piece together. If you love proverbs that are easy to digest, good storytelling and an unpredictable love tale, pick up this book. It’s a bit lengthy even though it’s only about 350 pages (the print is really small!). My main take away from the book is really simple “There never really is a right person, only a right time.” I’m a single guy yaddamean, and just like everyone else I’m looking for the right woman. It is only at God’s designated time however, that I will find the right woman. *Let the church say Amen!!!!

Do you have any good books written by Nigerian/African women? Let me know! I am eager to dive into more titles.

5 comments on “Bitter Leaf by Chioma Okereke”

  1. Nice review! I think I was a bit discouraged by the slow beginning and the small print like you said. But I think I’ll give it another chance based on your review. I’m on a personal bid to read more african and african diaspora novelists. So I came across a book review in the WSJ newspaper for “Behold the Dreamers”. It is a novel written by Cameroonian author Imbolo Mbue. It is about and african immigrant working for Lehman brothers (as a chaufeur) during the financial crisis. I haven’t read it but it’s on my radar.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the review and am seriously thinking of reading it. You should try The Famished Road by Ben Okiri the plot is complex and confusing from start to finish. The book is totally a good read. Its about life from the eyes of an abiku child and how he navigates the strange and wondrous world he chooses to live in, instead of dying again.

    Liked by 1 person

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