Thursday, September 30, 2010

NEW REVIEW: Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond - Powder Necklace

Powder Necklace: A Novel (Wsp Readers Club)Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond -
Powder Necklace -
Available Now! -
5 out of 5 books -

To protect her daughter from the influences of boys and the fast life, Lila's mum sends her to school in Ghana. In her mum's mind, the move to stay with Auntie Irene was for her good, especially after seeing her in the living room with a boy. As innocent as the visit or play time was, Lila's mum was not hearing that. It was settled that she was sending her to Ghana.

Auntie Irene and a few of her classmates offered her tidbits on how to make her time in Ghana a little less complicated. Unfortunately, Lila learned that Ghana was as complicated as a Rubik's cube. Her classmates call her "broni" (translation: white girl) because of where she comes from and her looks. It is almost like the haves and have not with Westerners being the haves. Where does this crazy thinking come from?

Born in Ghana and raised in London, Lila is not used to drinking water which is bad in scent, taste and color, or food being filled with weevils (pantry pest beetle). But in Ghana, it’s all part of her world. At Dadaba School, having water meant you had someone who loved you, money and a relationship with God. If you had no water, then you were poor and you couldn’t bathe. Many of the girls who had no water would go through the final act of bathing, the final act being powder on your neck.

At the end of Lila’s first week at Dadaba School, she wrote to her mum begging her to allow her to come home. Her mum’s response will be one turning point in Lila’s life; "Lila, it doesn’t matter what did or didn’t happen anymore, I just need time." Another pivotal point was Lila’s mum calling her to come home, not because she missed her but to meet her new man. I applaud Lila’s thought process about life, relationship and people’s motives, especially that of her mother.

Powder Necklace by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond was a fantastic journey of a girl coming-of-age story across three continents. The dynamics she dances with from London to Ghana to New York is truly what kept this reader turning page after page. Lila starts out in the story as a frightened little girl with many questions and small ideas about faith, to a young lady who’s able to answer many of her own questions about her mother and knowing she is born again and has triumph over much. Her new mantra is "What doesn’t kill you will make you strong."  Powder Necklace will definitely be a 2011 book of the month discussion for our book club.

Reviewed by Missy for Urban Reviews

Order your copy of Powder Necklace: A Novel (Wsp Readers Club) today!

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