Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe was first published in England in 1958. I love learning about belief systems and cultures that differ from my own. This book is for adult readers.

I've read several books that paint the belief systems of those in Africa as silly and superstitious, so I enjoyed this book because it didn't cast that judgement. I love authors who trust their readers and allow them to make their own judgement calls.

This story follows Okonkwo, the son of a lazy farmer who is determined to be brave, masculine, strong, and more than his father. Although Okonkwo is a strong man, he is often unkind because he fears being viewed as weak. Many of his decisions are based on him doing all he can to be unlike his own father.

In his culture, a man can have several wives. The better crops he can grow, the more he is respected in his village - a place where twins are put out to die in the evil forest because twins are an evil thing.

I enjoyed the explanation about why the village believed what they did. I enjoyed learning why some of the people discarded their beliefs and converted to Christianity. My own muddled history of religious practices makes this type of book enjoyable for me.

This book is the first of a three book trilogy and although this one ends at a natural stopping place, I will probably read the others. I enjoyed the writing style of this novel.

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

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