> I came across an interesting-looking book in the Silverbird Bookstore in the Accra mall last week and now that I have finished it, I can wholeheartedly recommend it.
The book “Reading the Celiling” is written by the Gambian author Dayo Foster. It is Foster’s first novel, and it is an excellent first attempt, producing a lovely main character in reasoning young woman Ayodele and other believable characters like her strict mother, warm Auntie K, annoying Moira, desirable Yuan and kind priest Foday Sillah.
Her description of everyday life in West Africa is also spot on with descriptions of beach outings complete with ice-chests and bbq, a daunty rented two-room house, an altruistic choice of career in Mali and the profitable Mercedes business in the Gambia.
But it is not an “African novel” per se, it is a successful literary examination of choices we ahvein life which made me revisit some of the choices I have made thinking about their possible alternatives.
I enjoy books which take you to another world in which you look around and find the familiar faces and locations as described in the book. Crafting that kind of “real” world in a novel is likely very difficult since just a choice of a few words, saying too much or too little can distort the picture in my head.
The first few pages about Ayodele’s choice that will come to determine her life can be read here, in a website constructed for the book. The site also has more information about the young author and some extras for us who have read her book already. I say, join the club!