This is a simple story of traditional village life written by Buchi Emecheta, one of Nigeria's leading novelists.
The children born during the Nigerian Civil War have grown up and have formed a troublesome group with a grudge against society. They won't work on the farm and they take no notice of their elders. The elders decide to teach them a lesson in a very subtle way.
Before they know what's happening, the boys find themselves locked in a conflict with other boys and with each other—not with the elders. The story culminates in a great wrestling match. Who wins? They soon learn that in war, nobody wins.
|Publisher:||Braziller, George Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.30(d)|
|Age Range:||11 - 15 Years|
About the Author
Born of Ibo parents in Nigeria, Buchi Emecheta is widely known for her multilayered stories of black women struggling to maintain their identity and construct viable lives for themselves and their families. She writes, according to The New York Times, with "subtlety, power, and abundant compassion." Her novels include The Slave Girl, The Family, Bride Price, and The Joys of Motherhood.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Okay, this is a tough one to write, and I would just say that the story is interesting but that I didn't care for the writing style....except that there are no reviews posted for this book. If Ms. Emecheta took the time to write it, and I took the time to read it, then the least I can do is say a few words about it. How I came to read this story is an interesting bit of serendipity. Earlier this month I read Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, a Nigerian writer whose story centered around an Igbo village in Africa. Then my daughters were assigned to read The Wrestling Match for an English class, and here was another Nigerian writer focusing on that same tribe, only this time the author was a woman. I thought it would be interesting to compare two stories set in the same time period about the same tribe from different perspectives. Because the roles of the women within the tribe are so very different from the men's roles, I was expecting...more. Emecheta's story is about the younger generation in a tribe that is changing, is forced to change after the Nigerian Civil War. The main character, Okei, is having a difficult time adjusting to living with his uncle's family after his own parents are killed in the war. He is a teenager who has been sent to school and now must adjust to a family whose first priority is working the farm, a family that believes that the old ways are best. Okei, like every generation of teenagers, thinks that the tribal elders are out of touch, and that the old ways are just that...old. He is surly and disrespectful and he and others of his age group are about to learn a valuable lesson that will be orchestrated by the elders of two different villages that feel that their young people have a lot to learn.At the heart of the story is a lesson that rings true for every generation and for every culture - war is not an answer to conflict, it is a byproduct of conflict that hurts both sides. Even the winner in war has lost something. Where the story fails, in my opinion, is in its telling. Emecheta's writing falls flat; it is stilted and cold. It does not draw the reader in or explore any hidden depths, such as Okei's sense of displacement or his grief. She does not present any insights into the tribal elders plans for teaching their children a lesson. Sometimes less is more, but sometimes less is...well, um...less. The best analogy that I can think of for comparing the two stories is that one is driven by someone who could drive his car smoothly around a race track at very high speeds, and the other is driven by someone who is still learning how to drive stick shift.