1. The Spider King's Daughter by Chibundu Onuzo: This modern-day Romeo and Juliet story is set against the backdrop of a changing Lagos, a city torn between tradition and modernity, corruption and truth, love and family loyalty. Seventeen-year-old Abike Johnson is the favorite child of her wealthy father. She lives in a sprawling mansion in Lagos, protected by armed guards and ferried everywhere in a huge black jeep. But being her father's favorite comes with uncomfortable duties, and she is often lonely behind the high walls of her house. A world away from Abike's mansion, in the city's slums, lives a seventeen-year-old hawker struggling to make sense of the world. His family lost everything after his father's death and now he runs after cars on the roadside selling ice cream to support his mother and sister. When Abike buys ice cream from the hawker one day, they strike up an unlikely and tentative romance, defying the prejudices of Nigerian society. But as they grow closer, revelations from the past threaten their relationship and both Abike and the hawker must decide where their loyalties lie.
2. How to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengestu: In this novel that tells the immigrant experience across two generations we trace Jonas Woldemariam who in an attempt to understand his cultural heritage, leaves behind his marriage and job in New York and sets out to retrace his mother and father's history as young Ethiopian immigrants. Jonas goes on a journey that takes him from a war-torn Ethiopia that his parents knew to a brighter vision of his potential in America.
Find out the rest of What We're Reading Now by checking out the latest issue of MIMI.
(( Photo Credits: Wave Break Media Micrro | Veer ))