In 2002, fifteen-year-old Chinaemelum leaves America, to go to Nigeria for summer break. Months later, she fights for her life against malaria. Summer is over and her father refuses to give her back her passport to return to America with her mother. She is kept in Nigeria against her will, he puts her in an all-girls boarding school, where she struggles to adapt to life, in a 3rd world country. Two and a half years later, she and her siblings escape out of their father's house to the American Embassy in Lagos for hopes of leaving Nigeria. She is adamant about expressing her trauma of abandonment, abuse, and her survival mechanism then and now. Out of this tragedy, she's able to overcome and be of a success today.
She voices the portrayals of her childhood and teen years growing up Nigerian American in America to Nigerian parents.
Raised in Silver Spring, Maryland, by a Christian Pastor and wife, life is portrayed in public as a God-fearing couple, but behind closed doors, Chinaemelum witness her father often beating her mother. He eventually begins to abuse Chinaemelum, by calling her a hoar and a prostitute at age 13. Chinaemelum had high hopes when she heard she was going to Nigeria for the summer. She had no idea the gravity of the horrific adventure about to take place.
Chinaemelum has been writing for more than 12 years. She is the author of her first book called “Mangoes in the Rain”.
The story is about the struggles of a young girl who has faced child abuse. The story starts with a girl who is looking forward to spending the summer in Nigeria. She seemed so excited for Nigeria, as all she can think of and dream about was the adventures and fun but what happens when the dream turns into a living nightmare?
She knew one thing was clear that she was safe in America, but will she be safe in Nigeria along with her father who had tortured her? All she ever wanted, was her own safety because somewhere in her head she believed her father hated her. And the thought was stuck in her mind.
There was no freedom for her she always being a listener and traumatized by her father's cruelty. She had little hope that after going from this house moving to another city everything would be fine. Will it though?
She started writing in her diary about the imagination that made her calm and believes the thing that makes her feel better.
After moving to another city she felt the same as she use to and the encounter with her father made her adventure in Nigeria a nightmare. She believes that nothing can get her out of this miserable life.
So will she be able to escape from Nigeria back to America? Will she be able to escape from her fear, trauma, and abusive father? Will she be able to fight back from all the pain and scars? Will she find someone who will help her or will she finds her own way to get out of it?
My Take :
Mangoes in the Rain is the debut novel written by Chinaemelum Menakaya and the author has beautifully expressed the story that will touch your heart and make you feel connected to the characters.
I liked the way the author has expressed each emotion as while reading this book I could imagine the pain and scars of a young girl whose childhood has been so horrible. All the characters have their own personality and the author has portrayed them perfectly. From cruelty to innocence, from fear to the reality of life, the author has described each aspect impressively.
This book is based on the brutality that a child has faced at a young age. This book makes a great impact to stop child abused makes it also motivational.
The highlight of the book is the inspirational writing of the author Chinaemelum Menakaya, who has written this fascinating story of a young girl who has faced child abuse, which is a crime to this world of humanity.
The book is written in easy to read English which will make you feel related. The title of the book and the cover is beautiful and has a deeper meaning. I loved reading this book. Unquestionably waiting to read more books of the author.
Overall a truly motivating and amazing book to read. I will definitely recommend others to read this. So click here and read now Mangoes in the Rain by Chinaemelum Menakaya.