“Charming, vividly drawn and coloured comic…graphics are stylish and striking and the dialogue quick and witty…close to perfect.”

 

CONTAINS SPOILERS!

Fun novel. It’s refreshing to read a book about Africa that doesn’t feature starving children or bloodshed. People going about their daily lives with humanity. This story takes place in the capital of Abidjan on the Ivory Coast during their prosperous period in 1978.

Aya, the title character, stands as an intelligent young woman who refuses to succumb to the lusts that pervade the lives of her two friends, Adjoua and Bintou. It’s surprising that Aya finds anything in common with the foolhardy pair Adjoua and Bintou.

Adjoua and Bintou possess inane fixations with boys and clothes. Not once do they initiate conversation about school. They do, however, aspire to achieve positions as career women, with their husbands as generous benefactors.

When one of the girls gets pregnant, Aya supports her friend without judgment. She does face a battle with her ambitious and chauvinistic father. When Aya shares her dream of becoming a doctor, he dismisses it and tells how he expects her to marry a wealthy man. Aya loves her father but loses much respect for him due to his hunger for money and status.

Men on the street harass Aya. Whatever miserly circumstance she encounters, Aya fights back, draped with resilience and dignity.

 

Reviewed by:

Karah Khalia

Added 2nd September 2017

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