A slice of life novel about a young woman living in impoverished circumstances in the Ghanaian village of Ho, who gets the opportunity to marry into a wealthy family. Afi, the protagonist, is beautiful and smart but has done poorly in her secondary school exams and can’t Ghana’s public universities. Instead she faces a life playing seamstress to the unexciting women of Ho.
Korede’s gorgeous younger sister Ayoola has a nasty habit of killing her boyfriends once she grows tired of them. Covering up her sister’s crimes is bad enough, but life gets a lot more terrifying when Ayoola takes a liking to Korede’s love interest.
Last year I visited Elmina Castle, a slave fortress on the coast of Ghana. It’s a beautiful white-washed building, very similar in style to Cape Coast Castle, the slave fortress where Yaa Gyasi sets key pieces of action in Homegoing. The castles are two of about 40 such structures that were built along the Ghanaian coastline by Europeans. They were trading posts that became holding prisons for millions of West African slaves who were then shipped off to the Caribbean, the US and South America. The structures are huge. They dominate the coastline. Markets and towns would have grown up around them, like the town of Elmina that sprouted up around Elmina castle. It is impossible that the locals did not know what the primary trade from these castles was. Did it trouble them? Why was the trade in African bodies accepted? Gyasi takes us aside, sits us down, and says, ‘let me a paint you a picture, let me show you how the system worked.’
Baba Segi has three wives, seven children, and a home filled with riches. Now he has his sights set on Bolanle, a university graduate with a tragic past. When she joins his household, she unwittingly uncovers a secret which threatens to destroy the patriarchal foundation of his life. The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin
Olivia and Aiden rescue a group of stranded refugees from a remote planet, only for their new passengers to start dying in suspicious circumstances. Gripping murder-mystery, space opera based on Othello.
When Nick Young invites his girlfriend on a trip to Singapore she frets about meeting his parents. She has no idea that her quiet, humble boyfriend has more money than the World Bank and that she’s about to enter the treacherous, back-biting world of Chinese high society.
At one point in 2017 it felt like Alyssa Cole’s name was coming at me from every direction. She’d pop up in every Twitter discussion that even vaguely mentioned a romance must-read list, whether the sub category was contemporary, historical or science fiction. During my 10 leagues deep obsession with the Hamilton musical I discovered Cole had contributed to a romance anthology called Hamilton’s Battalion, set during the founding father’s assault on Yorktown. She appeared on Shonda Rhimes’ culture website shondaland.com sharing book recommendations and she was splashed all over the Smart Bitches Trashy Books review website. Yet, despite the universe’s insistence that I read her work, it was the cover design for her novel, A Princess in Theory that finally made me pay attention. Many black authors have talked about the problems they experience creating appealing book covers for their work. Issues range from difficulties finding stock photography that feature black models, to publishing houses that woefully misrepresent the characters the author has created. Therefore, whenever I spot a good black book cover my …
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon Funny and charming coming-of-age story with a wonderfully sharp and determined heroine.
Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson Things you need to know: Nothing is what it seems Nothing is what it seems Nothing is what it seems
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh In short: It’s so lush and delicious it practically slides off the page.