• Monday, July 22, 2024
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My father’s son


Author:  Thelma Umezulike

Number of pages:  265

Published in 2024

Reviewer: Kenneth Athekame

“Chisom’s Inheritance” tackles a provocative theme: a father’s defiance of tradition by bestowing his legacy upon his firstborn daughter, Chisom, instead of his son. This bold choice sets the stage for a story rife with conflict, potential, and some narrative stumbles.

When the firstborn child, Chisom, is a girl, her father, Chief Amadi, defies societal norms and bestows the rights and privileges of an heir upon her, bypassing his only son, Obinna. This act ignites a firestorm of resentment within the family, twisting Chisom’s childhood into a crucible of hate directed towards her father.

Years later, tragedy strikes when Chisom’s mother dies. Driven by a complex mix of emotions, including her mother’s dying wish, Chisom reluctantly returns to the Amadi mansion. Thrust back into a hostile environment, she confronts not only Obinna’s simmering anger but also a deeper understanding of her father’s motivations.

As Chisom navigates the treacherous social landscape within the mansion, the narrative peels back layers, revealing a more nuanced portrait of Chief Amadi. The man Chisom once demonised emerges as a complex figure, wrestling with tradition and a desire to empower his daughter. This newfound understanding compels Chisom to confront her own ingrained animosity.

The story takes a dramatic turn when Chief Amadi faces unforeseen danger, jeopardising his legacy. Fueled by a newfound respect for her father and a burning desire to honour her mother’s wish, Chisom steps up to defend his life’s work. In doing so, she must not only face external threats but also the deeply entrenched patriarchal norms that threaten to disenfranchise her.

The novel’s core concept – a woman defying societal expectations to claim her inheritance – is undeniably captivating. It sparks discussions about gender roles, tradition, and the evolving power dynamics within families. As Chisom grapples with her father and the weight of his decision, the story hints at a potentially nuanced exploration of their relationship. The possibility of uncovering the motivations behind the father’s choice and Chisom’s evolving perspective holds promise. The opening sentence, with its hyperbolic “all hell was let loose” phrasing, sets a melodramatic tone that may not resonate with all readers. The initial descriptions of Chisom’s passionate hatred and the father figure shrouded in mystery lack depth. Without a stronger foundation, their eventual reconciliation risks feeling unearned. The leap from animosity to deeper love for the father feels abrupt based on the limited information provided. The story could benefit from a slower reveal of the characters’ emotional journeys.

Chisom’s Inheritance presents a captivating core concept. However, the provided excerpt leaves some questions unanswered. To truly succeed, the novel needs to delve deeper into character development, explore the motivations behind the father’s decision, and ensure a more believable and nuanced emotional arc for both Chisom and her father.

With more focus on character development and a more measured pacing, Chisom’s Inheritance” has the potential to be a thought-provoking exploration of tradition, family, and female empowerment. Readers who enjoy stories that challenge societal norms and explore complex family dynamics may find this novel intriguing, but those seeking a more nuanced and emotionally resonant narrative might be left wanting.