“Soulful Return” by Fidelis O. Mkparu

Soulful Return

Fidelis O. Mkparu
DX Varos Publishing (2022)
ISBN: 978-1955065603
Reviewed by Lily Andrews for Reader Views (12/2022)

In this highly ambitious novel, Fidelis O. Mkparu takes the literary world by storm with his latest offering that centers around Afamefuna Onochie Nwaku, a Harvard-trained medical doctor with a prestigious job at the multibillion-dollar Boston healthcare system, a successful marriage, and two successful adult children. Having lived in the United States for years, the Nigerian-born doctor is torn between going back to Nigeria to assume the role of a family patriarch after the death of his parents or stay in America to become the new CEO of the Boston-based hospital.

When his sister in Nigeria begins making distress calls to Afame asking him to come back home for fear of her life, he makes an important decision to fly back to reconnect with his heritage, realizing the great longing he had to see his motherland again. The precariousness of his actions hangs in the air as he comes face to face with the potentiality of losing his family, employment, and everything he had worked for in his career journey. His fears are further heightened when he lands in Nigeria, only to be met with a country riddled with corruption and civil strife, and people who do not recognize him as one of their own.

“Soulful Return” captures the struggles of immigrants expertly. The burden placed by family back home, the pressure to succeed in a foreign country yet remain loyal to one’s true origin. Mkparu adeptly tears away the veil to best reflect the pragmatic turmoil that immigrants go through in a language that ascends and often attains the radiance of poetic entries. Beyond reaching all the levels of a novel of its size and pithy style, the text’s natural descriptions are pickled in African imagery, making readers visual immigrants in the comfort of their armchairs.

Afame’s story is deeply resonant and delivers a universal message that is far beyond those who may find themselves in a similar situation. Mkparu’s unflinching and intense five-star novel reverberates with the true resilience of the human spirit, its triumph over tragedy and arduous odds. Affecting and heartfelt, “Soulful Return” by Fidelis O. Mkparu is indeed a treasure not to be missed.

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