I enjoyed reading this not because the story is a happy one but because it’s one that needs to be told. Set in Ojiji village and then Lagos, Nigeria, this story explores the life of Iyunola aka Ruby Bamijoko who was orphaned at 10 years old and had to be married off to an old man. She ended up getting pregnant at the age of 12 and developed obstetric fistula after the delivery.
Iyunola’s story was horrifying to say the least but I really enjoyed reading this. Things I liked:
- How insightful it was.
- The way FGM and obstetric fistula was explained in simpler terms for non-medical people to understand.
- How easy it was to connect with the protagonist and feel her every emotion.
- I also liked that she shared the psychological effects of these traumatic experiences.
What I didn’t like.
- 10-13 year old Ruby sounded way older and I would’ve loved for her voice to match her age.
- How predictable the story was. I figured it out pretty fast.
- The timelines and how they alternated got a bit confusing.
This book explores the plight of so many girls all over the world and it’s disheartening to know these ridiculously harmful ‘cultural’ practices are still happening.
Themes – child abuse, FGM, sexual abuse, child marriage and adoption.
According to WHO, Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
I gave this book 3.5 stars and would recommend this is you want some insight into FGM and the effect i has on the affected girls.