What was life like being born as a girl and growing up in the pre-colonial era? Second-Class Citizen, a novel written by Buchi Emecheta gives you a vivid account of some part of it.
The story revolves around Adah, a girl whose dreams were to get an education and travel to United Kingdom. In a bid to continue her education after secondary school, and have a home where she can study in peace, she gets married at the age of sixteen to Francis.
Adah feels that her marriage to Francis will give her the chance to study at her own pace. But she is in for multiple surprises.
When Adah relocates to United Kingdom with her two young children to join Francis whom she had sent there earlier, she feels like her dreams are finally coming to pass. Only if she knew that the greatest dream killer in her life was Francis supported by her fellow-country men and the whites who all regarded her as a ‘second-class citizen’.
The major themes of the book are: racial and gender discrimination, motherhood, poverty, marriage and abuse.
This book left me feeling emotional. The book was very interesting, filled with history and lessons for the readers to learn. I, however, didn’t agree with the author in some chapters of the book like when she said Jesus never answered or told one what to do in a tempting situation.
Second-Class Citizen is a tragedy that enlightens and reminds us of the plight of the female gender and the black race.
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Reviewed by: UduakObong Inyang. She is the author of My Last Walk of Shame, available on Okadabooks. She reviews books as a freelancer, on her social media and on her blog. Follow her on Instagram: @ms_ud and on Facebook: UduakObong Inyang