Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Review: Reading the Ceiling

Reading the Ceiling Reading the Ceiling by Dayo Forster
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ayodele is turning 18 and is selecting a man to have sex with.
I don’t want to wait for this falling-in-love business, or aim for passion, even though everyone everywhere – books, films, magazines – makes it seem like the ultimate. I want to get this sex thing over and done with so my life can move on.
The novel is written in three sections following what would happen if Dele follows three different scenarios. It's not quite choose your own adventure in feeling, although the consequences are at times surprisingly long-reaching. It's like a coming of age story combined with an exploration of all the contextual factors a young person might face in The Gambia - economics, education, religion, marriage, children, loss, relocation, class, etc.

The voice in the writing is vivid and entertaining and it reads quickly. I like how details in the background that happen in one story happen again but not exactly the same and yet you need to know what came in the first version to understand the rest; this introduces a bit of complexity the author could have avoided with three distinct stories but I feel makes the reading experience better. The story is also very international as Dele has a Chinese friend, has travel possibilities that are wide-ranging (America, UK, or "just" Dakar....)

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