A review by emreads27
Freshwater, by Akwaeke Emezi

challenging dark emotional reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes
This book is unlike any I’ve ever read, and I would highly recommend it (with content warnings in mind). Igbo religion/culture was entirely new to me, so it helped to research and translate phrases between chapters for context. The westerner in me wanted to label their experience as DID, but the more I read, the more I tried to let go of psychological diagnosis and focus solely on their story, their voice. At times, the intensity pressed me to stop, but the raw vulnerability always pushed me forward. The Ada’s weaponization of their body in its own defense/desensitization, the fury, and the self loathing/self empowerment called to those same parts in me and my primal urge to protect the people I love who’ve undergone trauma and abuse in its many forms. To use a quote from the book, “Understand this if you understand nothing: it is a powerful thing to be seen.” Akwaeke Emezi’s writing was exquisite, and it will stay with me. 

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