review LIKE A MULE BRINGING ICE CREAM TO THE SUN

Jos.
Oh, Jos.
Beautiful city in the sun.
A place with fond memories.
The times I walked the tree lined lanes.
Greeting left and right.
Traditional dress.
Modern dress.
Local.
International.
The sound of many languages.

These memories came back when the main character of this book, Morayo da Silva, remembers Jos where she spent her youth. Now she nears her 75th birthday, living in San Francisco (United States of America). Her memories take her back to Jos and to other places. I do not know if Sarah Oladipo Manyika lived in Jos herself, but the name ‘Oladipo’ reminds me of Jos. Morayo thinks about writing a book about Jos, a declaration of love. 

What about Morayo da Silva? She is an elderly lady, living on her own (with her many books) and she prepares for her 75th. She was married to Caesar, a top diplomat, so she travelled the world with her husband. At the times she is a woman in her own right. She is a professor in English Literature. At her present age she, as a divorced woman, starts on a slow meltdown (ice cream), starting with that letter about a medical examination for the prolongation of her driver’s licence. The mishap occurs when she falls and ends up in the medical circuit.

The story of Morayo is told by Morayo herself and by many others. One meeting can be told from different perspectives. We meet Dawud, a shopkeeper. Sunshine, who lived in the very same housing block, and her husband Ashok. A homeless woman. Reggie Baily and his wife Pearl, who lives in the same medical institution where Morayo works on her return to her apartment. Nurse Bella. Toussaint who cooks at the institution. Her lover Antonio enters the stage in her memories.

Sarah writes a story with a light touch, but at the same time it shows the difficulties coming with age. Morayo has surrounded herself with books and books, but now she realizes that books are no friends. She needs the touch of other people. She needs the longing to a time past. She needs the interaction with people who circle around her. The end draws near. Her end draws near. The people she meets are valuable. 

Sarah Ladipo Manyika – Like a mule bringing ice cream to the sun – 2016 

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Published by

semper

I enjoy reading about Africa. New books. Old books. By African writers. By non-African writers. Novel. History. Travel. Biographies. Autobiographies. Politics. Colonialism. Poetry.

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