Book Review: Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham.


Book Review: Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham.

Twin sisters Bibike and Ariyike are enjoying a relatively comfortable life in Lagos in 1996.

Then their mother loses her job due to political strife, and the family, facing poverty, becomes drawn into the New Church, an institution led by a charismatic pastor who is not shy about worshipping earthly wealth.

Soon Bibike and Ariyike’s father wagers the family home on a “sure bet” that evaporates like smoke.

As their parents’ marriage collapses in the aftermath of this gamble, the twin sisters and their two younger siblings, Andrew and Peter, are thrust into the reluctant care of their traditional Yoruba grandmother.

Inseparable while they had their parents to care for them, the twins’ paths diverge once the household shatters. Each girl is left to locate, guard, and hone her own fragile source of power.

Book Details

Literary awards: Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Nominee for Debut Fiction (2021)Kirkus Prize Nominee for Fiction (2020).

Original title: Black Sunday.

Setting: NigeriaLagos.

Format: 277 pages, Hardcover.

Published: February 4, 2020 by Catapult.

ISBN; 9781948226561 (ISBN10: 1948226561).

Language: English

My Review of Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham.

started reading this book because I saw a snippet of the opening sentence on Twitter, “THERE WERE MANY easy ways to be a stupid girl in Lagos…” and I thought it was interesting. I loved this opening sentence and I went in search of the book.

This is a story told from the perspectives of four siblings; twin sisters, Bibike and Ariyike and their younger brothers, Andrew and Peter.

What these girls would think as the bliss of experiencing freedom, will turn into the beginning of their nightmare. But they will not know what the future holds for them, on a bus, after school, going home and enjoying the new found freedom of coming home by themselves.

They will not know their world will take a drastic turn that night and things will fall apart.

Book Review: Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham.

When things fall apart, they do not know for how long they will stay on the floor, defeated.

They will not know that their mother’s loss of her job will lead to many terrible moments that would linger for years.

Their mother, who used to have a high rank in the Civil service, loses her job to grudgingly work as a secondary school teacher. And they will be withdrawn from their mission school, and enrolled into a public school.

Book Review: Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham.

Their father, who does nothing to bring food on their table, will keep fighting with their mom, till he gets scammed by a pastor in their new church and everything falls more apart.

The story takes an interesting turn, when their parents abandon them because of their bankruptcy, their mother leaving for America first, and their father, to an unknown destination.

Then the four siblings would take turns narrating their ordeals, how they are able to navigate their lives as abandoned kids who have to work their asses off at a tender age to survive, in their grandmother’s home.

The girls would be exposed to all sorts of sexual advances, and being the older ones of the siblings, would have to hustle for their food and upkeep.

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I got lost most of the time while reading this book. I feel like the author has a lot of things to say, but always stops, even before developing those ideas. And this made the story to be all over the place.

There’s an instance where Bibike has to meet Aminat, the glamorous girl who would become her friend after their encounter at the hospital where she works as a cleaner.

I did not quite understand Aminat and her role in the story. And when Bibike meets Aminat’s dad in a hotel room, I expected something more, like an insight into what happens and what would later happen. But her chapter ended and I had to read from another person’s perspective immediately.

Book Review: Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham.

The multiple perspectives ended up confusing me a lot while reading this book. In ‘How to lose your Lagos lover,’ I was beyond confused.

It seemed like I was reading a different story apart from the actual book. And before I could understand what was going on, the section ended, so I didn’t really feel what Bibike feels in that section.

But the chapter I really enjoyed was Andrew’s perspective on “We have to talk about girls.” I enjoyed his boarding house experience, and it made me reminisce on my own boarding house days.

That chapter exposes the cruelty and abuse people experience in boarding schools. I enjoyed his story, but the last scene was confusing to me, and before I could fully grasp what was happening, the chapter ended.

Book Review: Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham.

I like the fact that the author touched so many sensitive topics like religion, abandonment, abuse, and child neglect. Religion is the opium of the masses. And the book reveals how some dubious religious leaders dupe their unfortunate congregation and the politics that is being played in the house of God.

Child neglect is a very serious issue, because these children are forced to embrace adulthood, a phase they’re not prepared to face, and they make lots of mistakes.

I enjoyed reading some chapters in this book. And I definitely love the way the writer uses her words. I love her narrative and descriptive techniques and she also employed humor most of the time, which is my best element of fiction. I’d rate the book as 3.7/5.

Have you read the book? What do you think about it? Please share your thoughts with me in the comment section. Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter, follow me on all social media platforms and share with your friends. Thank you for visiting Bookish Pixie.

Book Review: Black Sunday By Tola Rotimi Abraham.
Black Sunday By Tola Rotimi Abraham.

10 thoughts on “Book Review: Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham.”

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed your review. It makes me feel self conscious of the ones I do on Facebook. 😂

    Sounds like imma gonna learn how to write a well-detail review like yours.

  2. The book does sound interesting because it follows the four siblings who were abandoned by their parents, but I can see how to the multiple changing perspectives can be confusing.


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