“A Rainy Season” by Nnaziri Ihejirika is a wonderfully written fictional accounting of Nigeria’s historical journey to democracy in the late 1990s. The story takes place in Lagos, Nigeria and is written through the eyes of eight different people; Hamed, the government contractor, Ekei, the desperate fashion designer, Jude, the underground radical, Kurdi, the womanizing pastor, Tamara, the ambitious divorcee, Elechi, the inquisitive schoolboy, Mutiu, the disillusioned guard, and Nonye, the blossoming idealist. These people are as different from each other as they can be, divided by religion, gender and social class, and yet their differences seem much smaller than their united desire to survive, no matter the price.
The book is divided into eight sections, one for each character, and the story gracefully moves from one character to the next, each character tied to the character from the previous section. I loved the way this book was written with each person telling me his or her story, speaking to me directly from the pages. The characters captured my complete attention, and while they were fictional, each person was alive and real to me while I was reading, and as I reflected back on the story after finishing the book.
There is a glossary of terms located in the back of the book to aid, as the author puts it, non-Nigerian readers. I am happy to report that I had little trouble understanding the wording, and did not find myself referring to it very often. That said, I have always felt that a glossary adds value to a story that might otherwise be misinterpreted. The writing in “A Rainy Season” however was so descriptive that I almost intuitively figured out the meanings of many of the terms included in the glossary.
I highly recommend “A Rainy Season” by Nnaziri Ihejirika to all lovers of historical fiction. This one is hard to put down!