Tiny Sunbirds Far Away by Christie Watson

Tiny Sunbirds Far Away

Christie Watson

Vividly narrated by Blessing in words both witty and lyrical, this is the beguiling story of the strength of a family wounded by heartbreak. Full of warm, colourful characters, the balance of daily life and local traditions contrasts dramatically with political injustices and unavoidable violence. Confronting issues of race, class and religion, this book takes you deep into the reality of ordinary life in Nigeria and gives you food for thought.

Extract

'Blessing.' Mama started, and let go of my hand. 'Blessing.'
She stood up and walked towards the mesh window. For a moment I wondered if Mama was about to say, 'I love you.' I held my breath. I had never heard those words before, and wanted to hear the exact way she said them. I had not heard anyone in my family say those words to anyone else, except when Father had left. He did not say them to Mama, or to Ezikiel, or even to me. He said them on the telephone to the other woman, the one that Mama found him on top of. He said the words in whispers, his hand covering his mouth and the receiver. I still heard. Even his quiet voice was too-loud.
Mama did not say, 'I love you.' She turned away from the window and looked through me, past me. 'I hate this fucking place,' she said. And a large tear dropped onto her cheek.

Parallels
  • Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi
  • When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman
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Violence