Sefi Atta! What can I say? A beautifully written and absolutely engaging novel that captivates the mind of the reader. Everything good will come is packed with so much action that the rapid reader may easily omit a few pivotal moments. These moments reveal Mike and his philandering ways, Enitan’s stint in prison, and the beauty that is conveyed in the restoration of a mother-daughter relationship.
Rape, I hate that word. Enitan was exposed to the violence and pain that results when men take what they want without hesitation. Enitan witnessed the rape of her childhood friend Sheri. Like many girls her age Sheri wanted to feel older than she was, but like many girls before her, when pain came, she cowered her head in shame. Nigerian society is not routinely designed to favour and defend the woman, and when it does, pity is all it offers. Sheri as a Nigerian girl knew this, she did what many girls had done before her, she inserted a clothing hanger into her womb. She wanted to expel an unwanted child. I grew up hearing tales of clothes hangers that found their way into the wombs of girls, yet reading Sheri’s story was fresh and palpable in some way. She became barren as a result, a barren woman is not a woman by Nigerian standards.Nigerian society is not designed to favour the woman, and when it does, pity is all it offers Click To Tweet
Men are an important part of any Nigerian girls life. A girl’s relationship with men is strongly influenced by the relationship she has with her father. Enitan’s father Sunny was a lawyer. He taught Enitan to be a strong and brave woman. Mike cheated on her but I cannot necessarily call her experience a heartbreak. Sometimes a human blanket is just a blanket and nothing more. Enitan eventually married Niyi; a Nigerian woman ought to marry, society demands this. Niyi initially seemed sincere, he appeared to be a man who loved Enitan for who she was. However, as she changed and became a mother, Niyi wanted a ‘good Nigerian wife’ and that is not always as easy as it appears to be; happiness in marriage is based on an intentional two way sacrifice, Enitan and Niyi did not understand that. A dissolution of marriage occurred, as Enitan had to be the daughter her father raised her to be, and that was never ‘a good Nigerian wife’, she was raised to be a warrior, Niyi was never going to understand that.
Motherhood is a choice many women have to make. To be or not to be a mother, is a choice that can only be made by those nature favours. Enitan critisized her mother from childhood. She faulted her actions and ability to function, she glorified her father. As Enitan grew older, she realised that motherhood does not stop when children leave the nest, and it doesn’t start on the labour ward. As Enitan became a woman, she learned that her mother had tolerated a lot more suffering than she was aware of. Enitan realised that mothers always sacrifice more than they are willing to take credit for. Enitan came to acknowledge that though her childhood was not perfect, it was better for having her mother around.
Everything good will come is a must read for anyone keeping up to date with Nigerian literature! Set on the backdrop of the military regime and the Biafra war, Sefi Atta has told a coming of age story that will not easily be forgotten.
Until next time.
You know Dami loves to read! Do share your thoughts below! What have you been reading?