Book Review: Everything good will come by Sefi Atta.


Book Review: Everything good will come by Sefi Atta.

Everything Good Will Come introduces an important new voice in contemporary fiction. It is 1971, a year after the Biafran War, and Nigeria is under military rule—though the politics of the state matter less than those of her home to Enitan Taiwo, an eleven-year-old girl tired of waiting for school to start.

Will her mother, who has become deeply religious since the death of Taiwo’s brother, allow her friendship with the new girl next door, the brash and beautiful Sheri Bakare? 

Everything Good Will Come charts the fate of these two African girls, one born of privilege and the other, a lower class “half-caste”; one who is prepared to manipulate the traditional system while the other attempts to defy it.

Written in the voice of Enitan, the novel traces this unusual friendship into their adult lives, against the backdrop of tragedy, family strife, and a war-torn Nigeria.

In the end, Everything Good Will Come is Enitan’s story; one of a fiercely intelligent, strong young woman coming of age in a culture that still insists on feminine submission.

Enitan bucks the familial and political systems until she is confronted with the one desire too precious to forfeit in the name of personal freedom: her desire for a child. 

Everything Good Will Come evokes the sights and smells of Africa while imparting a wise and universal story of love, friendship, prejudice, survival, politics, and the cost of divided loyalties.

Book Details

Format: 336 pages, Hardcover

Published: January 13, 2005 by Interlink Books

ISBN: 9781844370566 (ISBN10: 1844370569)

Language: English

My Review of Everything good will come by Sefi Atta.

This book follows the life of Enitan, a young Nigerian girl growing up in Nigeria between the years 1971 and 1995. Narrated by Enitan herself, we learn a lot about her childhood, through to her adulthood.

She’s the only child of a dysfunctional family of a renowned Lawyer father, and a nasty mother. Young as she is, she doesn’t understand why her mother hates her father so much.

Her father tries everything within his power to bring peace to the house, but it seems those things he does, are what irritates her mother the most.

Book Review: Everything good will come by Sefi Atta.

Her parents barely have conversations as a married couple, and she always has to walk on eggshells around them.

Her mother never holds conversations with neither her nor her father. And she tries to put her against her father.

Enitan doesn’t have any friends because her mother forbids that, but she will soon get entangled with one of their neighbour’s daughter, Sheri.

The relationship between her parents will continue to get worse as the years go by, and it is so bad that her mother even hides her food in the refrigerator so her father will not eat.

And Enitan would get exhausted of living in a loveless family, till she travels to the UK for her education, and gets a breath of fresh air.

Book Review: Everything good will come by Sefi Atta.

She learns how to speak out for herself and vows to not live the kind of lives her parents live.

This book is set after the civil war when Nigerians were still trying to put themselves together after suffering from the war.

There are a few points to take away from this book. First is family dysfunction.

Book Review: Everything good will come by Sefi Atta.

I don’t think Enitan’s parents should have been married in the first place, because they are everything but not compatible with each other. And Enitan is always at the receiving end of their quarrels.

 All her life she longs for motherly care and affection, but all she gets is a mother who tries to put her against her father and make her hate him.

But Enitan loves her father so much, and he loves her right back, so her mother starts pushing the narrative that she’s hating her because her father is making her do it.

Family is all about love, peace and unity, but those ingredients are lacking in Enitan’s family.

Another point is Sheri’s carefree nature. She’s everything Enitan wouldn’t dare to be; bold, carefree and daring. I didn’t expect her to end up as an Alhaji’s mistress.

The book started well for me, I enjoyed reading about the eleven year old Enitan, and everything surrounding her life then. But I feel like the book dragged on for so long.

At some point I lost focus, and then picked it up at another point. I feel like the book should have ended earlier than it.

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But it is a beautiful book regardless. It also points out the ills of the military regime in Nigeria, and how activists are forced to shut their mouths and conform to the tyranny of the leaders.

Even Enitan’s father would not be spared by the government, because he keeps speaking out for the betterment of the country. One character I didn’t like at all in the book was Enitan’s mother.

Like she literally maintains her narcissism till the very end. She never shows Enitan love, and would fight with her father at every slight opportunity.

The scenes that pain me the most are when she locks her food in the refrigerator, so her husband will not have access to it, and when she makes a fuss at Enitan’s graduation, insisting not to take a group picture with her husband. That’s wickedness and pettiness in the highest order.

Anyway, I’ll rate this book as 3.9/5. 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, and follow me on all social media platforms. Thank you for visiting Bookish Pixie.

Everything good will come by Sefi Atta.
Everything good will come by Sefi Atta.

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