” That night, as Siyonna lay on her bed waiting for sleep to come, she thought about what Ebele had said. She had always suspected a certain peculiarity about her necklace but had never for one moment thought of it as being magical. (…) She shuddered. If only she could speak to Ma Mabel. Was she in danger ? Would the necklace always be there to protect her ? How far could she go ? As she nodded off, she could still hear Ma Mabel’s voice saying, keep the necklace close to you, it will bring you luck. “
On the eve of her sister’s wedding, Siyonna goes into the woods and meets Ma Mabel, a mysterious character who gives her an unexpected gift. This object will accompany the protagonist throughout the novel in different ways, from a discreet presence to a strong protective force.
Between the initial setting of her sister’s traditional Igbo wedding and the backstreets of London, Siyonna grows up to become an adult in a modern world tinted with objects and beliefs from her ancestors’ land. This pleasant novel takes us inside her family circle, then with her friends and finally in a more unfamiliar setting in Britain. Under the rather light tone and the transparent language lies the story of a young girl’s coming-of-age, a girl who lives increasingly between two cultures, the Igbo and the British.
In this thrilling novel, mainly destined to teenagers and young adults, the necklace stands out as a lucky charm. Is it destiny or chance ? In our contemporary world, where people may feel lost between several spaces and cultures, the necklace, an image of “visual magic”, is, as John Mozie says, “an unseen hand guiding you”.
The Enchanted Gift by John Mozie
ISBN : 9-78-1913 653699
Published by Michael Terrence Publishing, Dollobies Ldt. and John Mozie, 2020.
Review by Ioana Danaila
Ioana Danaila was born in Romania. She has a PhD in Nigerian Postcolonial Literature and a First degree in French for Non-Francophone people. She is also the author of a collection of short stories and translated books from French to Romanian. Trilingual in Romanian, French and English, she teaches English language and literature to highschool students in France.