Inspired by Nigeria's folktales and war, Under the Udala Trees is a deeply searching, powerful debut about the dangers of living and loving openly. Ijeoma comes of age as her nation does; born before independence, she is 11 when civil war breaks out in the young republic of Nigeria. Sent away to safety, she meets another displaced child, and the star-crossed pair fall in love. They are from different ethnic communities. They are also both girls. When their love is discovered, Ijeoma learns that she will have to hide this part of herself. But there is a cost to living inside a lie.
As Edwidge Danticat has made personal the legacy of Haiti's political coming of age, Okparanta's Under the Udala Trees uses one woman's lifetime to examine the ways in which Nigerians continue to struggle toward selfhood. Even as their nation contends with and recovers from the effects of war and division, Nigerian lives are wrecked and lost from taboo and prejudice. But this story offers a glimmer of hope - a future where a woman might just be able to shape her life around truth and love.
©2015 Chinelo Okparanta (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Why did the narrator chose a non-specific southern African accent for a Nigerian story? It's like reading a book set in London's East End in Geordie accent. The narration and the way she pronounced "akara" almost made me stop listening. Thankfully the plot was captivating enough to keep me interested until the end.
I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it. The characters jump out of the page and have stayed with me. The narration feels just right for the book. Not too over the top.
A different Narrator
Lack of research.. This is a Nigerian story but she used a very generic African accent that was closer to South African that any West African accent..Please, please, western narrators...do your research!!! I would have preferred to listen to this in a western accent than this mingled, terrible, terrible accent!!
I gave this book five stars due to the content. It's well written but more importantly it sheds light on an important issue. This author gives voice to inner turmoil gay people in Nigeria go through as well as the underground life they have to lead for safety.
"Good book that left me wanting more."
The narrator was excellent. The story at times left me wanting more, especially at the end. I felt the author should have developed the second lesbian relationship a bit more and given more insight into their reunion and lifestyle. The lack of this exploration left me with many questions and thoughts. The author addresses many important themes such as sexual identity, culture, tradition, religion and death to name a few. The author writes beautifully in full, rich detail.
It was a well told story and left me engaged wanting the book to be longer.
Ijeoma because she reminds me of things I've dealt with and have been through personally.
No, this is my first time listening.
The moment when ijeoma's husband found her wooden treasure box with all her letters to oondeedee
I am just disgusted at the laws in nigeria still to this day and think that I would never visit with those laws still in place.
"narrator makes this story shine"
idjeoma is such a strong character but she's surrounded by people who are trying to bring her down with tradition and religion. the story was so frustrating as our heroine is helpless through much of the story. fortunately i finished the story with the help of the narrator. robin miles has a way of making the many accents and various languages in this book come alive. her reading, as well as superbly acted distinct voices between characters brought an additional layer of enjoyment to this story. she did such a good job that I'm going to seek out other books she's read aloud.
"fantastic read all around"
Great read, highly recommend. Gives a good perspective and understanding while being easy to listen to
in this colorful tale of a young igbo girl coming of age and learning who she is independently of family, religion, society I was taken on a wonderful journey. I was also able to experience a wide variety of emotions. ...the language is beautiful; learning some of the igbo words and having a peeping Tom's view into the culture was amazing. a pleasure to listen to.
"Beautiful realistic fiction"
I would recommend this book to get an understanding of modern Nigerian culture. The narrator has a beautiful melodic voice and her soothing sound made the difficult story easier to stomach. It is a story of love, war, parenting, friendship, religion and more. Worth it!
I really enjoyed this book. It gave a perspective into a culture I was not familiar with. I must assumed that homosexuality was something more accepted than it actually is. The narrator kept me engaged.
"heartfelt story, one that will stick with you"
loved the story, the pacing, the switch from present to past. the narrator was brilliant.
"Unexpected twist Disappointed"
The voice was beautiful and learning about the conflict and recent history of that area was very interesting. I wasn't prepared, or interested in the first love/lesbian accounts. I appreciate the trials and struggles this young woman faced and others who are discriminated against quite cruellly in regards to same sex. As someone who is heterosexual and looking for a nice, informative novel to go to sleep listening to I found it too disturbing for my liking. I wold have appreciated it much more without the intimate scenes. It was too pornographic to my liking. Although it may have been the character versus the author, I believe it was the author, providing their antireligion views.
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