“ Slowly, I opened my eyes again. (…) I glanced over my shoulder and saw a greenish-brown fog shaped like a human. (…) The functioning part of my brain urged me to run away, but my feet refused to move; it was as if I’d been glued to the floor. (…)
‘Fib!’ Mo’s voice shouted, and I jumped from the shock. (…)
‘Are you okay, Fib?’ (…) You zoned out and started screaming!’
I straightened my glasses and prepared to tell her what had happened. But on second thought, I decided to shut my mouth. ”
Fib, a teenager in contemporary Nigeria, discovers one day that, when she takes her glasses off, that she sees things no one else can. Like many of the women in her lineage, Fib is a seer. What is more, she can also foresee certain events: Aaron, her friend, only has a few more months to live. Not taking into account her mother’s warnings, Fib will go farther than she ever thought she could. It is in the narrow space between obeying and transgressing the boundaries that Fib struggles to make her way and to help her friend survive, yet fails to envisage the whole picture.
Complicated relationships between mothers and daughters, teenage crisis, budding love, friendship and rivalry―Esosa Kolawole’s novel is a thrilling fantasy prose on the background of Yoruba mythology and spirituality. Kolawole is one of the emerging writers who develop a literary genre which brings a new look on the teenagers’ world and struggles, as well as on the relation that young generations have with their ancestral cultural heritage. The alert rhythm and the strong characters make it an exciting read and an exciting first volume.
Fib and the Axe of Fury by Esosa Kolawole
978-9785705805/ Zuma Publishing (2019)
Review by Ioana Danaila
Ioana Danaila was born in Romania. She graduated from University Lyon 2 Lumière with a Masters in African Postcolonial Literature and a First degree in French for Non-Francophone people. She is the author of a collection of short stories and a translator of books from French to Romanian. She is trilingual in Romanian, French and English, and teaches English language and literature to highschool students in France.