Book Reviews

The Son of the house by Cheluchi Onuobia | Book Review

Hey friends. I have decided to start posting my mini reviews on the blog. I don’t know where I got the notion that book reviews on the blog have to be long and detailed. It’s funny because I don’t like reading long reviews; I like reviews that essentially tell me if I should read the book or not. I’ve read a lot of books that didn’t make it to the blog and I keep wondering why. When I started this blog, I wanted it to be the stop for anyone in the world looking for book recommendations and everything bookish. Long story short, expect more mini reviews on the blog! Today, I’ll be starting with a mini review of a book I read months ago – The Son of the house by Cheluchi Onuobia.

Where I got the book

I read the proof copy which was gifted by Europaeditions. They were kind enough to send it all the way to Nigeria even tho it took almost a month to get to me. (I later realized it was already published two years prior by Parrésia Publishers Ltd in Lagos. This is what happens when publishers in Nigeria don’t even try to work with Nigerian book bloggers)


“The lives of two Nigerian women divided by class and social inequality intersect when they’re kidnapped, held captive, and forced to await their fate together.

“In the Nigerian city of Enugu, young Nwabulu, a housemaid since the age of ten, dreams of becoming a typist as she endures her employers’ endless chores. She is tall and beautiful and in love with a rich man’s son. Educated and privileged, Julie is a modern woman. Living on her own, she is happy to collect the gold jewellery lovestruck Eugene brings her, but has no intention of becoming his second wife.”

“When a kidnapping forces Nwabulu and Julie into a dank room years later, the two women relate the stories of their lives as they await their fate. Pulsing with vitality and intense human drama, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia’s debut is set against four decades of vibrant Nigeria, celebrating the resilience of women as they navigate and transform what remains a man’s world.”

My thoughts

I enjoyed reading this. It flowed easily and I didn’t mind it being too predictable. There was some sort of comfort in the predictability tbh. It was an easy and engaging read with just the right amount of details. Set in Enugu alternating between 2011 and 1972, Cheluchi was able to establish connections between the characters so effortlessly. Although, it was a plot driven novel, the character development was top notch which made it very easy to like and empathize with the characters.

Cheluchi’s style of writing is one I absolutely loved. The simplicity of the language, not overdoing it to appeal to the western audience, the descriptions of the places and the characters. I’m Nigerian and I’m not familiar with the East so I definitely appreciated the fact that this novel was set in Enugu as opposed to the usual Lagos. (More of this please!)


Cheluchi was able to explore a myriad of themes without making it cumbersome. Loss, family, love, infertility, marriage, abuse, female friendship, and motherhood were touched on in this novel.


4 stars.

I definitely recommend this to everyone especially those keen on African literature or books set in Nigeria.

If you’re in Nigeria, you can get this book at rovingheights, Bookpeddler, pagebookstore or any local bookstore. If you’re outside Nigeria, I’m sure it’s available everywhere as well.

Till next time,

– Tosin

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