Posts tagged literature

BOOK REVIEW || Crazy Rich Asians

Heyyy guys. Hello. Today I’m reviewing a book long over due. I have so many books left unreviewed, please help me. Enjoy.


This is how it went: I loved the book. Then I didn’t love it anymore. I even started to hate it. And now, reading it again after many months, I love the book again.

I love the book outside of the general buzz of it and outside of my dislike for its irrelevant series continuation (my opinion). The book did just well with only the first book but then Kevin Kwan went ahead to stretch it into a trilogy (China Rich Girlfriend & Rich People’s Problems). The second was averagely okay for me because I was already enjoying the Asian escapism I got from the first book. The third would’ve just bored me so I skipped it altogether.

Not withstanding, I would always recommend it for a pleasurable holiday read.
My review in a sentence: CRAZY RCH ASIANS DEALS WITH ASIANS WHO ARE RICH AND CRAZY.
My review in full:
Rachel Chu(A Prof of economic development) meets Nicholas Young(Prof of history and law) and they fall in love in New York. But Nicholas’ family aren’t in New York, they’re in Asia(Singapore) where it gets crazy.

Its two years into their relationship and Nick coaxes Rachel to travel home with him for his best friend’s wedding and there she meets the craze. The book takes us on a ride along with Rachel through Nick’s stupendously rich and quiet elitist family. The wealth and snobbery of the Singaporeans gets Rachel Chu’s head spinning. Would she stand the anger and jealousy thrown at her from all around or will she balk?

The Singapore where they live, is akin to a big village where everyone is in everyone’s business. Take Eleanor for instance:

“To Eleanor, every single person occupied a specific space in the elaborately constructed social universe in her mind. Like most of the women in her world, Eleanor could meet another Asian anywhere in the world- say, over dim sum at royal chia in London, or shopping over in the lingerie department of David Jones in Sydney – and within thirty seconds of learning their name and where they lived, she would implement her social algorithm and calculate precisely where they stood in constellation based on who their family was, who else they were related to, what their approximate net worth might be, how the fortune was derived, and what family scandals might have occurred within the past fifty years.”

The gossip in this book is lit – everyone has (interesting, scandalous) background story you’ll have to know of.
The book presents Singaporeans who can figuratively die over food; eating five times a day and arguing about the best food spots. We’re introduced to other characters like Astrid,Charlie Wu, Peik Lin etc.

At a point you just might get tired of the wealth description. There are articles in a house (ceramics) worth thirty million dollars, every jewelry is scrutinized to the last detail, the clothes they put on are from the next season.

“Forbes only reports on the assets they can verify, and these rich Asians are so secretive about their holdings. The richest families are always richer by billions than what Forbes estimates”

I think for those who are unaware, you also get to learn secrets like this:

“let me share a secret with you, Nick. As much as a girl might protest, you can never go wrong buying her a designer dress or a killer pair of shoes”

And simple songs like this:

“it only takes a spark,
To get the fire going.
And soon all those around,
Can warm up in its glowing.
That’s how it is with God’s love,
Once you’ve experienced it.
You want to sing,
Its like fresh spring,
You want to pass it on”

Likes
I must tell you the truth – dialogue in this book is fun!

I like the fact that the book also picks up quickly.

Dislike
The characters come off as so many at the beginning, and they’re unfamiliar Chinese names so it gets difficult to hold on sometimes. You’ll however get the hang of it later.

This book is in essence – Rich entitled delusional Chinese families 101; which in spite of its light humour strokes subjects such as family bond, identity, self-worth and belonging. It is cool for what its worth and helps transport you to Asia. I generously rate it a 4 stars in its own right.

P.S: I’ve seen the movie adaptation and I think its wack.

Have you read this book? Have you seen the movie? Are you interested in reading it? If you’ve read it, are you like everyone else who likes Astrid?

Love and books,
Debby.

BOOK REVIEW–And After Many Days

Title: And After Many Days
Author: Jowhor Ile
Publisher: Tim Duggan books
Review
The book traces the Utu family in PortHarcourt, Nigeria. The setting of the conflict period is 1995. It’s an interesting tale of children growing up in a privileged middle class family in Nigeria. The oldest son, seventeen year old Paul gets missing and we’re confronted with a personal loss and on a larger scale, political loss.
Political loss as evidenced by failure in virtually all sectors of the society. I think it’s despairing that the challenges faced back then in Nigeria, mostly as a result of political failure are all very much present in this day – even worse. The plot is rich and devastating. It however doesn’t hit you badly until the climax.
And after many days lends credence to the voice about the Niger Delta crisis in Nigeria; the development of the crisis and it’s impact (oil spills, gas flares, western oil companies arrival, the humiliating and harrowing experiences the military forces the members of the community through, the desecration of all indigenous land and even streams by the companies) – all from an insider’s point of view.
There’s also an exposure to the way the military government ran things at that time.
Jowhor is deserving of his award in the Etisalat prize for fiction in 2017. He is a delicate story-teller. This is his debut novel. The book employs a seamless technique of moving back and forth through time. The book has an intriguing and hooking opening, coupled with the author’s timeless and endearing way of describing events. It’s written in a third person omniscient perspective.
The characters are absolutely believeable and they draw the reader in. I think most Nigerians would relate with the upbringing of the Utus children. This book takes you back in time to your childhood.
One last credit: it had me checking the dictionary for the meaning of some words. What else can I ask for?
Excerpts

“You might be carrying a document instructing you to be sold and you won’t know it. Won’t read and can’t read would land you in the same place”

God forbid!” He spat out. He looked like the sort of man for whom all strong emotions came out looking like anger. Ajie couldn’t tell if he was angry that Paul was missing or angry with Paul for going missing or whether he was angry at all. Whichever way, it was clear his sympathy was with Ma “

“But whatever there was to know about desire and it’s cost was beyond Ajie then. He was at that time completely passionate and pure. He imagined himself, his brother, and his sister to be people who would shoot into the world and burn, fiery arrows set free by their parents from their home here at number 11. they would love greatly and do useful things. Bbi would become rich and important and build houses and hospital for the poor. Paul would simply change the world”

“When misfortune befalls you, people secretly blame you. Ajie noticed this. People can’t help it. They do it so they can believe it won’t happen to them. They haven’t done whatever it is you did to deserve this suffering.”

I like this book. I generously give it 5stars.
P.s for the those who’ve read the book: what do you think of Bendic and Ma’s parenting style?
Yours sincerely,
Debby.
So tell me, what do you think?

BOOK REVIEW–The Atonement Child

Before my two weeks semester break began, I was certain I was going to read so many books. I was only yet to draw out the list of fiction, autobiography and Christian literature I would read. I was only yet to.
The break has turned out entirely different but I’m super grateful for how it turned out. It’s been tough keeping up with certain demands in my fellowship but I’ll probably never really build so much strength without it.
Another good thing was that I completed a book by Francine Rivers. I did so in no time really. In this book, she really pushed her Christian views forward. It seemed like a tough Francine. Well, well Precious people, let me review it before pushing all my opinions in front of your face. (sidenote: I’ve been calling everyone precious these days, good innit?)
 
The title of the book is “the atonement child”, authored by Francine Rivers. It was published by Tyndale house publishers inc, Wheaton Illinois. it has 376 pages.
I was in a Christian library the other day, and I saw a book with a colourful cover page on a shelf.
It’s titled “aids is real and it is in our church”.
To be honest, I can imagine most pastors swiftly yet steadily glancing away with sufficient experience, from that book with the colourful cover page. But aids IS in our church. Who’s gonna pick up the book? Against that backdrop, “the atonement child” is also a book that hinges on a topic that makes us all avert our gaze to the side. It’s based on a somewhat sensitive issue. Abortion.
 
In a moment too short to have had the weight and consequence it eventually had, Dynah Carey was raped. Painfully. Brutally.
Beautiful Dynah, sweet Dynah, blonde-hair Dynah, God-adoring Dynah. Her family seemed to have been her rock. I enjoyed reading how she went down to New Life College in Illinois to school and how she met Ethan who swept her off her feet, yes. However, her life hit rock bottom after the rape and she was forced to reconsider everything she had ever known, and forced to put things in perspective, one day at a time.
The main characters were Dynah; Ethan, her fiance; Hannah, her mother; Doug, her father; Joe, her friend; Evie, her grand-mother. The characters were very credible and they felt so many emotions . I’ve understood that I sometimes choke down my feelings and refuse to consider them in a bid to be respectful. Well well, back to the characters. The characters seemed to have been tried with trials they couldn’t bear, they ran into lots of problems.
My favourite character is Dynah. duhh. She was able to pull through beautifully(this involved lots of tears and questioning God, running away, quitting school) but it serves to tell how much dignity can still be pulled on, in ugly circumstances. If I told you who my second favourite character is, I’ll probably begin to gush and digress and I will mention my third favourite. You already know I love the book, I don’t need to make it any more obvious.
 
Beautiful as the characters were, I couldn’t relate on a personal level. Our experiences differ. The setting is also in a contrasting part of the world. My favourite part of the book was a certain widows brigade meeting. Some close old women who met together every Sunday over the past four years to share lunch, sorrows and joy. I liked It because it touched on vulnerability. And the courage to call on the commander of the army, to go to war against the enemy.
 
This book while focusing on Dynah, was able to efficiently branch out to the lives of people affected by abortion: The doctors who perform it, the families of the doctors and what they felt or didn’t feel, the parents of those who aborted and reasons for supporting or opposing it, the men for whom pregnancies were aborted and their disposition for the rest of their lives , the pastors from whom counselling was sought, their errors and their excellence, the schools with no tolerance policy for pregnancy and the blind eyes turned to rape circumstances, the government and the position of the law, pro-life support groups and what they really care about.
On the issue of pro-life organizations, this book subtly dealt with why these organizations should focus more on the women thinking of having or who have had abortions and should not only be concerned with ‘saving the child’
This book had exceedingly thrilling points despite it the solemn theme.
I’ll recommend this to all and sundry because we all have a thing or two in perspective about abortion which needs changing.
 

On having answers :
He looked into her eyes and saw fear and confusion, her anguish. He wanted to weep. He knew the answer to that question in his heart. He knew the answer by all he had studied over the years in the word. But he couldn’t bring himself to give a one word answer to such a loaded question.

 

On Christian zeal:
Douglas had noticed that when they first met Ethan “he’s on fire alright but that kind of fire can burn churches down”

 

On grief:
she had thought she had cried to last a lifetime when she was nineteen. Now she realized she’d had no clue what grief was. She hadn’t known how deep it could go or how long it could last and that there were ramifications she hadn’t suspected.
Sometimes when she read her Bible, she envied the Israelite. They could wear sack clothes and ashes. They could wail and scream. They could prostrate themselves before the lord

 

On trials:
anger stirred. Frenetic activities seemed to be Ethan’s forte. And safety valve. When he didn’t want to face something, he served mightily as for the lord. But not really. It was easier to teach God’s word than to live it

 

On people’s justifications for abortion:
“it would seem life could be built upon the foundation of death”
“besides the supreme court doesn’t agree with you. They seem to think we poor women would fall apart if we knew the facts, so they decided women don’t have the right to know the full truth” she shook her head “they’ve made it legal to withhold vital information, even when a woman asks for it…and do you know the argument they used for withholding information? They say it spares women trauma…”

 

On facing the truth:
“she lifted her shoulders slightly, unable to explain, not sure she wanted to diagnose her feelings. Perhaps it was best not to examine some things too closely. You might find corruption.

 

On compromises made for love:
she hadn’t wanted to think about it too much or look too closely, not when the love of her life was so intimately involved. She couldn’t bear to think he might be wrong

 

On worrying:
He brushed a tear from her cheek. “you’re borrowing trouble, Dynah. You’re worrying about what might happen. Deal with now”

 

On love for Children:
“I remember my son going through a period in the seventies when he said he didn’t want to bring children into such an awful world, ” Evie said” I told him people who cared so much about children should be the ones having them”

 
 
Love and books,
Debby.
 

FORGIVENESS

Currently: sitting by the window facing the front porch of my house. Watching a flower dance in its pot. I’m occasionally gazing at the tree in my neighbour’s house. I choose to blog
 
As we grow older, our capacity ought to expand. I refuse to be a 12 year old girl in a 3year old body. At 3 years, the toddler could and would drink water. At 12, she can and would drink but with much more capacity than she did at 3. capacity.
Normally, I’m all shades of good. So I hated it as in turns my good natured attributes got ruffled. The calm superfluity I had, began to dissolve and I saw anger, I saw unforgiveness and I just wouldn’t believe it.
The truth is, it was the new me. I had grown.
 
When a flower grows, it loses it’s form, grows in every direction, still the same bright leaves, it blooms and glows. It’s still gracious but it has thorns sticking out, it is formless unless the gardener takes the shears and prunes.
 
John15:2: “…and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit, so that it will be clean and bear more fruit”
 
A few months ago, I saw unforgiveness was very very ugly, I tell you. Every time I pictured the devil as a young girl, he was ugly but the unforgiveness I saw, was uglier than I had ever imagined. It baffled me. It was sticking out of me. I was able to forgive eventually as God helped me.
 
2cor3:5 “not that we think we are of ourselves sufficient to do anything but our sufficiency is of God”
 
 
The case this time around wasn’t forgiving someone else. It was forgiving myself. I did something I regretted, to put it simply. I didn’t want to pray, I felt I had failed God. Then I remembered some Christian literature I had read saying after you’ve sinned, God is most ready to hear you pray. Ask for forgiveness. It is cheating to think you’re ‘protecting God’ and hence refuse to speak to him with your defiled self. He wants you to come so he can wash you and restore you.
 
So it’s two themes in my head: Forgiveness and Writing. I have obtained forgiveness from God but how about that other theme? See, I got encouragement to ask for forgiveness without wasting time because I had read.
 
I know people who still read. This blog inclusive. Thus, I’m writing.
 
I don’t believe one who was “despised, and rejected, who endured suffering and pain. No one would even look at him, we ignored him as if he were nothing “Isaiah53:3 yet was enduring the suffering that was meant to be ours, would now choose not to forgive us when we return to him. No.
 
It turns out that my last blog post had a major theme of forgiveness. I gave some excerpts, some of which I’ll quote again. We need to forgive people. We need to forgive ourselves and accept God’s forgiveness. As we grow, we need our spirit man to grow so we can forgive better than we did yesterday because today’s offence is stronger than that of yesterday. we need to love more fiercely. We need more.
The quotes:
 

“I did it to myself . I did it to myself. mea culpa, mea culpa”

Is not the strategy to take, nope, and that’s because
 

“God doesn’t condemn he forgives”

Yes
 

“She looked at him bleakly: ‘your kind of love can’t feel good’
‘Does your kind feel any better?’ she looked away.
He unlooped the reins. ‘right now love doesn’t have an awful lot to do with feelings‘ he said grimly
‘don’t misunderstand I’m as human as the next man. I feel alright. I feel plenty right now, a lot I wished I didn’t’ “

he says love doesn’t have a awful lot to do with feelings. God loves us inspite. Just come
 

” he[Jesus] was a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!” Isaiah 53;3,4

Still in doubt?
 
 
Currently: sitting by the window, my back to the flower still dancing in it’s pot. My body given to typing and eating something yellow again( I did not plan it, seriously!) loool.
What has been your experience on giving and accepting forgiveness?
FORGIVENESS
 
Love, forgiveness and yellow meals
Debby