I love reading African books. Anything that touches on Africa has my attention. One of my favorite books is by Buchi Emecheta, the joys of motherhood. I am not a mother yet, but from the story I got a vivid description of what it meant to be a mother and a woman in the traditional African society. The author could not have described it better. It is a lesson in history. Anyone who would like to experience motherhood and womanhood in the 1930’s in Africa should grab this book. The story is set in 1934 in Nigeria.

Reading it once was not enough for me. I have read it over and over, and each time I read it, I get a rush. It is simply captivating.

Buchi Emecheta’s works deal with the portrayal of the African woman. From the title of the novel to the chapters’ one is prepared for a story of the highs and lows of motherhood and womanhood. The main characters of her novel, joys of motherhood show what it means to be a mother and a woman in the African society. It goes further to draw comparison between the role of a woman in the traditional society and that of a woman in an urbanized society. The book is set at a time when traditional structures had begun to seriously malfunction under the impact of urbanization brought about by colonization. As the story progresses one is made acutely aware of how ironical the title is to the story.

Emecheta builds up the story to a climax, that leaves the reader deep in thought. I never had the opportunity to be told stories by my grandparents, but by reading this book, I felt like they were telling me their story. It is a must read for the young and older generation.