Travel to London and Nigeria via the book of echoes
Book of Echoes set in London and Nigeria by Rosanna Amaka – What a unique read. A story narrated by a ghost of a slave woman who has come back to watch over events in the present day and to get some kind of justice. She wants the injustices and the violence of her slave days to be addressed and to echoed through to modern times. She is the way we and the characters will find out and the real harrowing conditions of her life and ultimately how it refers to theirs.
Setting: timeless travel via Brixton London and Nigeria, Africa
Book of Echoes set in London and Nigeria by Rosanna Amaka
This was a really unique premise and technique for writing a novel and one I hadn’t come across before. Starting in the 1800s, the novel then takes us to the 1980s and Brixton, London and Lagos. We meet two characters whose stories will ultimately converge at some point.
Brixton – a key location in the book. This is the setting for Michael’s story who is originally from Jamaica but who now lives in London. This was not an easy place to live for a black person at the time. To find out why, we’re soon drawn into the riots and the consequences. Michael is from a single parent background and is constantly fighting to survive in many ways. Knife crime is a subject explored here and it was an eye -opener for me to read about it in fiction in this way.
Then we jump to Nigeria and meet Ngozi. Ngozi is a young girl who is desperate for an education and to live a better life. Her struggles are tough ones and she, like Michael, is desperate to make great changes in their life. Both of these story threads were very intriguing and I got to know both people well and felt I shared some of their worries and emotions.
There is a lot of passion and feeling in this book. The novel might have two earthly locations and one not so much, but the story which transcends location is that of racism, oppression and struggle in all its forms. You can see the way that society has in many ways changed for the better but, boy, does it also show what more still needs to be done. We might live in the same town ,city, country and time, yet we all have very different experiences and chances in life.
Shared history is the overriding theme explored in this novel but it was the human stories that really gripped me. There’s many echoes across time and this novel captures them in a manner that transcends time and place and ultimately otherworldly. Sometimes it takes a moment to see something through someone else’s eyes to really see it.
An unforgettable book.
BookTrail Boarding Pass: The Book of Echoes