In My Hands Today…

The Hundred Wells of Salaga – Ayesha Harruna Attah

Aminah lives an idyllic life until she is brutally separated from her home and forced on a journey that turns her from a daydreamer into a resilient woman.

Wurche, the willful daughter of a chief, is desperate to play an important role in her father’s court. These two women’s lives converge as infighting among Wurche’s people threatens the region, during the height of the slave trade at the end of the 19th century.

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In My Hands Today…

The House of Unexpected Sisters (No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency #18) – Alexander McCall Smith

Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are approached by their part-time colleague, Mr Polopetsi, with a troubling story: A woman, accused of being rude to a valued customer, has been wrongly dismissed from her job at an office furniture store. Never one to let an act of injustice go unanswered, Mma Ramotswe begins to investigate but soon discovers unexpected information that causes her to reluctantly change her views about the case.

Other surprises await our intrepid proprietress in the course of her inquiries. Mma Ramotswe is puzzled when she happens to hear of a local nurse named Mingie Ramotswe. She thought she knew everybody by the name of Ramotswe and that they were all related. Who is this mystery lady? Then she is alerted by Mma Potokwani that an unpleasant figure from her past has recently been spotted in town. Mma Ramotswe does her best to avoid the man, but it seems that he may have returned to Botswana specifically to seek her out. What could he want from her?

With the generosity and good humour that guide all her endeavours, Mma Ramotswe will untangle these questions for herself and for her loved ones, ultimately bringing to light important truths about friendship and family – both the one you’re born with and the one you choose.

In My Hands Today…

An Orchestra of Minorities – Chigozie Obioma

A contemporary twist on the Odyssey, An Orchestra of Minorities is narrated by the chi, or spirit of a young poultry farmer named Chinonso. His life is set off course when he sees a woman who is about to jump off a bridge. Horrified by her recklessness, he hurls two of his prized chickens off the bridge. The woman, Ndali, is stopped in her tracks.

Chinonso and Ndali fall in love but she is from an educated and wealthy family. When her family objects to the union on the grounds that he is not her social equal, he sells most of his possessions to attend college in Cyprus. But when he arrives in Cyprus, he discovers that he has been utterly duped by the young Nigerian who has made the arrangements for him. Penniless, homeless, we watch as he gets further and further away from his dream and from home.

In My Hands Today…

Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree – Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani & Viviana Mazza

36099188On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls. Some managed to escape. Many are still missing. A new pair of shoes, a university degree, a husband—these are the things that a girl dreams of in a Nigerian village. A girl who works hard in school and to help her family. A girl with a future as bright as live coals in the dark. And with a government scholarship right around the corner, everyone—her mother, her five brothers, her best friend, her teachers—can see that these dreams aren’t too far out of reach. Even if the voices on Papa’s radio tell more fearful news than tales to tell by moonlight.

But the girl’s dreams turn to nightmares when her village is attacked by Boko Haram, a terrorist group, in the middle of the night. Kidnapped, she is taken with other girls and women into the forest where she is forced to follow her captors’ radical beliefs and watch as her best friend slowly accepts everything she’s been told. Still, the girl defends her existence. As impossible as escape may seem, her life—her future—is hers to fight for.

In My Hands Today…

A Long Way Gone – Ishmael Beah

1920581At the age of twelve, Ishmael Beah fled attacking rebels in Sierra Leone and wandered a land rendered unrecognisable by violence.

By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. At sixteen, he was removed from fighting by UNICEF, and through the help of the staff at his rehabilitation centre, he learned how to forgive himself, to regain his humanity, and, finally, to heal.

At sixteen, he was removed from fighting by UNICEF, and through the help of the staff at his rehabilitation centre, he learned how to forgive himself, to regain his humanity, and, finally, to heal.

This is an extraordinary and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.

In My Hands Today…

The Book of Secrets – M.G. Vassanji

77797In 1988, a retired schoolteacher named Pius Fernandes receives an old diary found in the back room of an East African shop. Written in 1913 by a British colonial administrator, the diary captivates Fernandes, who begins to research the coded history he encounters in its terse, laconic entries. What he uncovers is a story of forbidden liaisons and simmering vengeance, family secrets and cultural exiles – a story that leads him on an investigative journey through his own past and Africa’s.

In My Hands Today…

Purple Hibiscus – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

126381Fifteen-year-old Kambili’s world is circumscribed by the high walls and frangipani trees of her family compound. Her wealthy Catholic father, under whose shadow Kambili lives, while generous and politically active in the community, is repressive and fanatically religious at home.

When Nigeria begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili’s father sends her and her brother away to stay with their aunt, a University professor, whose house is noisy and full of laughter. There, Kambili and her brother discover a life and love beyond the confines of their father’s authority. The visit will lift the silence from their world and, in time, give rise to devotion and defiance that reveal themselves in profound and unexpected ways. This is a book about the promise of freedom; about the blurred lines between childhood and adulthood; between love and hatred, between the old gods and the new.