This book was a story about a Nigerian family and the tradition of the bride price. Part of the story takes place in Lagos where Aku-nna, the protagonist, grew up. After her father dies she is forced to move to Ibuza to live with her father’s brother in a whole different culture from her own. Her mother, Ma-Blackie married her husband’s brother, Okonkwo, making him Aku-nna’s step-father This entitled him to her bride price, which was expected to be exorbitant amount. Okonkwo needed this bride price to gain his Eze title.
Unfortunately for him, Aku-nna fell in love with, Chike, the school teacher. But, because he was a son of a slave the Ibos wouldn’t give their approval of a marriage. It is an Ibo tradition superstition that if a woman is married without the bride price being paid that she will die with the birth of her first child. Aku-nna and Chike ran away from a man that Aku-nna was forced to marry, and they got married. When Chike’s father tried to pay a large bride price to Okonkwo he would not accept, wishing death upon his stepdaughter.
In the end Aku-nna was pregnant and she died in childbirth. This book taught me more about African culture. I think that the bride price and the superstition behind it are interesting concepts. The idea that you can die because a certain amount is not paid to your father is a little absurd. This book basically ended up being a folk tale about the bride price, because at the end the author says that because she died, it was thought that this superstition was true and now the Ibos believe it as fact.
The end of the book reminded of Farewell to Arms. The way in which Aku-nna died, the scene with rain, it was very closely related to the scene in which Catherine dies. Yet the baby lives in The Bride Price and the father can live on with a happy memory of his wife. It seemed like after all the obstacles that the characters face and once they are finally happy, something terrible has to happen. Regardless, I found this book to be very interesting and hard to put down.