the good book corner

Manuscript help, book reviews and author interviews



This story of 14 year old Nigerian girl Adunni is written in a unique style – neither exactly pidgin English, nor entirely incomprehensible; and it took me a while to get used to it. Later in the book, as Adunni’s command over the English language improves, so does her expression in the book.

Adunni’s mother wished for her to go to school, to find her own voice. After her mother’s death, her father marries her off to an old man, in exchange for money. She suffers every day of her married life, but retains her desire to learn, and to make something for herself.

Circumstances take her to Lagos, as a maid (for all practical purposes, a slave) at the home of the tyrannical “Big Madam”. When it seems like her miseries will never end, two kind souls – Kofi, a cook at the house, and Tia, a privileged, educated young woman- take an interest in her well being and help her.

I loved the fact that the theme of a voice resonates throughout the book through this young girl who is absolutely unafraid to speak her mind. Daré’s use of metaphors creates interesting images, and the bond between Adunni and Tia is particularly well written. “I collect Khadija’s hands as if I am collecting sorrows” and “I swim deep inside the river of my soul, and…. pour the memory out of me” are my favourite lines.  I wouldn’t say I loved the book. I wonder if at some level, having read about so many such instances of women’s subjugation in my own country, I have become a bit desensitized or cynical. In parts it felt like the story is geared towards a western audience. The fact that this is the third such story of a struggle against odds I have read in recent months contributed to the “no more of this theme for a while ” feeling. “My tomorrow will be better than today”, says Adunni. Words of hope for all of us.

This book definitely deserves to be read – as for me, my cynicism and I need a palate cleanser book, to lighten my mind.


“I am a lawyer by training and a full on book lover from as far back as I can remember. I live in Gurgaon, India with my husband and twin boys. Every year, I resolve to finish reading the books I have before buying new ones, and every single year my resolution fails”….Sapna Khajuria


About artikaaurorabakshi

Artika Aurora Bakshi Artika Aurora Bakshi is the author of three well-acclaimed children’s books,My Little Sikh Handbook, My Little Sikh Handbook 2: Ardas, My Little Sikh Handbook: Travel Journal, and an anthology of stories, Hold On To Me. Her first story, set in Amritsar, during the pre-Partition period, All She Had Left, was published on Story Mirror. She co-manages, a manuscript help and book review site. Her passion for reading has led her to helping other writers with their manuscripts. She comes from a family of lawyers and has a master’s degree in International Banking & Finance. Currently based in Sri Lanka, she teaches Commerce and History on a part-time basis at an international school and enjoys being part of the literary scene in Sri Lanka. A regular at the Galle Literary Festival and other literary events in Sri Lanka, Artika’s articles and book reviews have featured in the Daily Mirror, Daily News, The Ceylon Chronicle, and various blogs, such as,,, She was actively involved with SAARC Women’s Association of Sri Lanka and was President of the Association in 2016. An avid reader, Artika runs an online book club with a membership base of over 600 members. Her quotes are featured under soul.nightingale on Instagram and on Soul Nightingale by Artika Aurora Bakshi on Facebook. Artika is also working on her fourth children’s book in the My Little Sikh Handbook series and a second anthology of stories for adults. You can reach Artika at .

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