Title : BORN ON A TUESDAY
Author : ELNATHAN JOHN
Year of Publication : 2015
Genre: Fiction, Bildungsroman, Coming-of-Age Fiction
Publisher: Grove Atlantic
I’ve always heard about books with Hausa settings, Born on a Tuesday was my first. It is a story of Dantala (the name for someone that was born on a Tuesday), whose real name is Ahmad. Ahmad was separated from his parents and siblings, where they live together in Dogon Icce, to learn the Qur’an and its teachings, the book tells the story of his journey as a student of knowledge, his encounter with “touts”, finding his religion again and his struggles against his own desires.
I once read somewhere that telling a story using a first person narrative makes it seem real and more relate-able, that was probably the case with this author, reading the story of Dantala felt like it was happening around me, the author did a great job with his research, he analyzed the life of a Muslim in his book. No one was a saint, despite their position, they all had struggles with their desires, there were loopholes in their lifestyle, but that didn’t stop them from turning back to their faith.
Another thing that did it for me was the unpredictability, the end of the story was not fairytale-like, wasn’t happily-ever-after-like, it was not even the end of the main character’s story. It left me wondering at the end, how his life would continue, what he would plan to do next after everything. The way the story was told, the vibe from the characters were awesome, but the end of the story capped it all for me.
I tend to love weird and subtle characters in books, so yeah, Ai’sha was my favorite character. I enjoyed every bit of the book and I look forward to reading more books with Hausa settings. It’s a 4.5/5 for me.
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