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Book Review:  ‘Daughters Who Walk This Path’ by Yejide Kilanko

By Mercy Shoaga

Book Title:  Daughters Who Walk This Path’

Author:       Yejide Kilanko

Publishers: Penguin Canada and Pintail Books (Penguin USA) Penguin Random House

Year of Publication: April 2012

Volume of Book: 344 pages


The book ‘Daughters Who Walk This Path’ is a powerful and thought-provoking novel written by Yejide Kilanko. Set in Nigeria, this book delves into the lives of two young women, Morayo and Eniayo, as they navigate the complexities of womanhood in a society riddled with tradition, patriarchy, and adversity.

The story begins with Morayo, a spirited and intelligent girl, who possesses dreams and aspirations beyond the societal expectations placed upon her. However, her life takes a dramatic turn when she is sexually abused by a family member. Kilanko’s portrayal of Morayo’s emotional turmoil is both heartbreaking and poignant, shedding light on the lasting effects of trauma and the resilience of the human spirit.

Parallel to Morayo’s narrative is Eniayo’s story, a girl born into a family burdened by secrets and shame. Eniayo’s journey is one of self-discovery, as she grapples with her identity, sexuality, and the weight of societal judgment.

Kilanko skillfully explores the themes of identity, acceptance, and the importance of finding one’s voice in a world that often stifles individuality. Throughout the book, Kilanko’s writing is lyrical and evocative, painting a vivid picture of Nigeria’s vibrant culture, while also addressing the deep-rooted social issues that plague the country.

She tackles topics such as female genital mutilation, gender inequality, and the suppression of women’s voices with sensitivity and nuance, challenging readers to confront these uncomfortable realities.

One of the strengths of ‘Daughters Who Walk This Path’ lies in Kilanko’s ability to create multidimensional characters. Morayo and Eniayo are beautifully fleshed out, their struggles and triumphs resonating with readers on a deeply emotional level.

The author also provides a compelling cast of supporting characters, each with their own unique arcs and contributions to the narrative. Moreover, the book’s exploration of family dynamics is a central theme that adds depth and complexity to the story.

Kilanko examines the relationships between mothers and daughters, sisters, and extended family members, highlighting the love, sacrifice, and sometimes, the toxicity that can exist within these bonds.

‘Daughters Who Walk This Path’ is a novel that ignites conversations about feminism, culture, and the endurance of the human spirit. Kilanko’s storytelling prowess, coupled with her ability to address difficult subjects with compassion, makes this book a compelling read for anyone interested in exploring the complexities of womanhood and the pursuit of personal freedom in a society that often stifles it.

The book ‘Daughters Who Walk This Path’ is set in a place where traditions and expectations for women can be really tough. The story talks about how Morayo, who goes through a terrible experience of being sexually abused by a family member. It shows how that affects her and how she tries to overcome it.

And that of Eniayo, who comes from a family with lots of secrets and shame. She struggles with figuring out who she is and dealing with society’s judgment. The book itself talks about important issues like female genital mutilation and gender inequality.

The author, Yejide Kilanko, writes in a beautiful way that brings Nigeria’s culture to life. The characters are well-developed and you can really feel their emotions. The book also explores the relationships between family members, like mothers and daughters. ‘Daughters Who Walk This Path’ is a powerful story that makes you think about feminism and the challenges women face in society. The book that will touch your heart and make you appreciate the strength of the human spirit.


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