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Bad Love

Jacaranda Twenty in 2020
Narrated by: Vivienne Acheampong
Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)

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Twenty in 2020 will be the first time a UK publisher will publish 20 Black British writers in one year. The works include adult fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

Summary

Against a backdrop of enigmatic nights scattered with spoken-word poetry in London, Venice, Accra and Paris, Ekuah tries to reconcile her personal journey with the love she struggles with for Dee Emeka, a gifted musician who is both passionate and aloof in his treatment of Ekuah. 

After 18 months together, he disappears from her life, confirming her worst fears about the unstable foundation of their relationship. She attempts to graduate university whilst retreating into herself, searching for new validations and preoccupations from heartbreak. 

Life marches on and Ekuah finds personal fulfilment in her poetry and community work. But when she must choose between her first love and the promise of a new, unexpected love, in the form of Jay Stanley, can she handle the vulnerability and forgiveness required? 

Grappling with her examples of love, Ekuah must forge her own path. With an increasingly successful career, she finds herself travelling around the world. When her rise intersects with Dee's own fame, the two are pushed to reach a final resolution.

©2020 Maame Blue (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great read!!

I enjoyed listening to this book. going back to it every moment I had to listen until the end.
am in my 50s and yet so enjoyable and relatable to my early years.
the language is flavourful and poetic brilliantly helping you immerse yourself into the story.
Definitely reading the paperback!

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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part modern love story, part coming of age

Bad Love is a compelling debut novel that is part modern love story, part coming of age. The novel's narrator and protagonist recounts her first relationship, one that blurred the line between 'good' love and 'bad' love.
Ekuah, a British-Ghanaian university student in London, meets Dee on a night out with her friends. From this very first encounter, Ekuah feels a pull towards him. Dee is attractive, ambitious, and possesses an air of mystery. While Ekuah is inexperienced in love, she is not wholly naïve. Dee's casual attitude towards their relationship soon begins to test their bond. They exchange bitter words, give each other the silent treatment, they make up, only to fight and make up again. Dee clearly prioritises his music and career over Ekuah, yet he also seem happy to have Ekuah to himself. After eighteen months together, Dee ghosts Ekuah: he doesn't reply to her texts or calls, nor does he show himself when Ekuah looks for him at his place.
Ekuah is devastated. After graduating Ekuah meets Jay. The two find themselves growing closer thanks to their community-oriented work, and together they organise poetry events. Ekuah, smarting from Dee's 'disappearance', is the uncertain one in this relationship. Her feelings are further complicated by Dee's 'reappearance' into her life and by her parents' crumbling relationship.
While Blue brilliantly renders all of the places Ekuah visits (such as Venice and Accra), when writing about London, the setting truly comes alive. Ekuah's voice will undoubtedly hold her readers' attention. I deeply emphasised with her, even if she wasn't necessarily always 'good' or 'kind', especially when her mother was concerned. Yet, Ekuah's vulnerabilities are rendered with clarity, and I felt on her behalf. Through Ekuah's story, Blue's presents her readers with a realistic portrait of love, one that definitely doesn't view love through rose-tinted glasses.
While not much happens in terms of plot, Ekuah's evolving relationships—with Dee, Jay, her parents—had me captivated. Blue's scintillating prose, her realistic examination of the many faces of love, her nuanced and realistic characters, make for a truly heart-rendering read.
The ending is perhaps the only aspect of Bad Love that I found slightly unsatisfied. And a teensy part of me wishes that the Mafia had been left out of Ekuah's lightening trip to Italy.
Still, I thoroughly recommend this read, especially to those who prefer realistic love stories.

1 person found this helpful

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engrossing

loved it. Was captivating and the characters had multiple layers. I can't wait for the sequel!

1 person found this helpful

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A great read

thoroughly enjoyed listening with audiible, a story of finding love that keeps you gripped to the end.

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I loved every second of it

I followed the storyline with interest. Also, it is narrated quite well so it was easy to follow without falling asleep or so.

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Coming of age story of London Ghanaian woman

This is the debut novel from Maame Blue and it part of the #TwentyIn2020 series from Jacaranda books. It tells the story of a London Ghanaian woman called Ekuah mostly through her twenties and her adventures in the world of performance poetry in London, Paris, Accra and Venice. She encounters love and heartbreak and we hear her inner most thoughts in this very personal journey as Ekuah agonises between her competing love interests. I really enjoyed this book and the excellent narration and I will look out for more from Maame Blue in the future.