Manual After Many Days

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  1. And After Many Days
  2. Jowhor Ile
  3. And After Many Days by Jowhor Ile

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Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices. Ma looked up at the door hopefully as he walked in. They sat in the parlour until long after midnight. The lantern stationed in the passage stayed trimmed low, casting a yellow light beside the eddying shadow of the curtain hem.

Generator engines started up in nearby compounds, one after the other, and then all together became a steady roar for several minutes until power was restored and ordinary quiet returned as the engines were killed off. The silence was so sudden and pure it seemed as if the clock on the parlour wall had just come to life, the slender, second hand scratching its halting way around like a cripple. He took off his glasses and wiped the lenses slowly with the edge of his wrapper.

We will see him in the morning. Bendic put his glasses back on. Ajie and Bibi shuffled off to their rooms, leaving their parents behind in the parlour. Ajie climbed into bed but was unable to sleep. When he woke up in the morning Ajie looked around the room, his eyes swept through the corners. Bendic was getting ready to go to the police station when Ajie came out of his room.

His long-sleeved white shirt was tucked into his white underpants, sticking out above his hefty thighs. His black pinstripe suit was laid out on the bed. Bendic held the comb away from his head as he responded. He picked up his trousers from the bed. He told Ajie that Ma had driven to work to drop off keys and that she would return home as soon as she could.

Ma came in from work just before lunchtime. She stopped by the gate as she drove in and wound down the car window to speak to Ismaila. Ajie and Bibi stood up from where they sat on the veranda steps and walked towards the driveway. Ajie knew she was asking Ismaila if Paul had returned. When she got into the house she dropped her bag beside her on the sofa and slipped off her shoes. Ajie shook his head. They sensed something had gone wrong, but whatever it was was new, so no one knew how to hold it properly. Not Paul, everyone thought. It was not like Paul to get into trouble or give anyone reason to worry.

He was the least scolded of the children, the most commended by teachers. Even Bibi, with her excellent grades had been told off once or twice by her form teachers. There was just stillness. Something quiet crept about the house, made you feel a sudden chill and sprayed your arms and neck with unexpected goose rash. It is really beautifully written. I loved the depiction of the Utu family, each member a fully-drawn character. Benedict, the justice-minded patriarch, reminded me a little of To Kill a Mockingbird 's Atticus Finch. Ajie, the character through which we observe most events, is independent-minded and strong-willed.

He idolizes his big brother Paul and has a conflicted relationship with his big sister Bibi. The most touching part of this book was Ile's masterful portrayal of the complicated love between siblings as they navigate growing up together. They fight fiercely, but they also love fiercely. They have a shared history and unique bond that can not be replicated.

The following passage really resonated with me: Before the beginning of his memory, which was to say from the beginning of this life, there had always been the three of them. Paul and Bibi were the first people he saw, the first he touched. Everything he resented and liked, everything he knew, thought and felt, his smile and the angry pounding in his veins were all from them, and now, for the first time, taking notice of this made him feel incredibly lonely.

The sort of lonely feeling that Bibi would have been tempted to slap out of him. Just the kind of thing that would have made Paul look at him in his usual bemused way and say, 'My friend, what are you saying? But he sensed it that night, it hung about the room, the feeling that things may not always be like this, that they would one day grow up and live across town from each other like Ma and her cousin Aunty Julie or even die like all of Bendic's siblings whom he hardly ever spoke of.

Paul turned around in his bed, the distant drumming had stopped, and mumbled something in his sleep, and Ajie was sure he could hear Bibi softly breathing from the room next door. My husband worked in Nigeria during our engagement and the first few years of our marriage, so I am always interested in books set there. I had already read a few books from Nigerian authors and paid special attention to news from there.

I think a basic knowledge of 20th century Nigeria really increased the impact the book had on me. This novel deals with the human cost of political conflict and greed, as well as the impact the actions of the past have on the present. If you pick up this novel expecting a plot heavy suspense novel or whodunit, you will probably be disappointed.

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This quiet novel will be most enjoyable for contemporary literature fans interested in Nigeria and those who like slice-of-life family stories. Few people, very few, have a treasure, and if they do they must cling to it and not let themselves be ambushed and have it taken from them. Please refer to a finished copy. Feb 24, Susan rated it really liked it. Paul, a seventeen year old Nigerian boy disappears one evening in and this story follows the family during the days after his disappearance.

And After Many Days

The tale weaves back and forth into the past, to the childhood of Paul, his brother Ajie and sister Bibi, and the time spent with their parents in both Port Harcourt and the family's ancestral village. The author covers family relations, political developments and community action all in one spellbinding story, never losing the thread of Paul's disappe Paul, a seventeen year old Nigerian boy disappears one evening in and this story follows the family during the days after his disappearance. The author covers family relations, political developments and community action all in one spellbinding story, never losing the thread of Paul's disappearance and it's effect on his family and their constant search for answers.

There were wonderful descriptions of sibling rivalry and the changing nature of things in both rural and urban environments. The themes of love, loss, tragedy made the book hard to put down. Overall, it was an incredibly well written, moving story that made me laugh and cry. It told me so much more than simply how a family deals with loss and change. It told me about constant change in a community and a nation as a whole. Thanks to Library Thing and Crown Publishing for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Nov 16, Faith rated it liked it Shelves: I feel a little bad that I didn't like this book more. It had an important story to tell but the manner in which the book was written kept me at a distance from the characters and the important events in their lives. At the beginning of the book Paul, the 17 year old son of a middle class Nigerian family, goes missing. However, it is not until the last 40 or so pages of the book that you find out what happened to him. It was unfortunate that I never really got to know Paul, or his siblings and p I feel a little bad that I didn't like this book more.

It was unfortunate that I never really got to know Paul, or his siblings and parents. I was interested in reading about life in another country about which I know almost nothing, but digressions made it slow going. I would have preferred a more linear plot. It took me months to finish this short book, but I do not regret having persevered. If I had hated the book I would have abandoned it, but there was something about the author's voice that I liked. The author touches on political unrest, military dictatorship, student protests and environmental exploitation in a very superficial way.

I was hoping for more.

Jowhor Ile

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. Jan 06, Doseofbella rated it it was amazing. And After Many Days By: When Paul leaves that morning and says goodbye to his younger brother Ajie, it will be the last time anyone will see him. As straight forward as that sounds it is a tragic event for this family. It is in a time of struggles and life changing events for the Utu family.

Many are poor and violence is unpredictable in Port Harcourt Nigeria. What happened to Paul, and will he ever return to his family? Ajie will tell a tale of many events from the past and beyond. I found this ideal. A fresh twist in a sad and heart felt story. Most of the plots read about missing person s is told by the investigation point of view.

Ajie will tell you about his family, traditions, superstitions, and unending love for his brother Paul. Jowhor Ile brings to you an intense story that will weave its way into your heart and soul. From the first page to the last this feelings of loss, desperation, guilt and love are build on a series of family secrets. It left me a bit breathless when I read the last pages. A must have in your library. Feb 22, Hannah rated it it was amazing. Paul turned away from the window and said he needed to go out at once to the next compound to see his friend.

But by page 6 I knew I was in it until the end. Cue the sobbing; cue the screa Paul turned away from the window and said he needed to go out at once to the next compound to see his friend. Cue the sobbing; cue the screaming; cue the hyperbolic prose in face of a heart-slashing tragedy.

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Twice the lights went out, but no one moved[. They all sit in silence and, in depicting that silence, Ile makes every emotion felt without describing one. And then the tension wavers and releases. We go back in time, learning about the wealthy Utu family and their community. Ma is well-educated, ambitious, fiercely loving and strict.

The father is equally intelligent, a respected and moralistic local judge. There is Bibi, the ferocious and adorable little sister; Ajie, our often-narrator so overshadowed by his brother; Paul, a lead student and named after the apostle. I was touched by the flashbacks of Bibi, Ajie, and Paul as children because it brought back my own past — I had forgotten how intense every small interaction seems to a child, and how quickly playdates devolve into fisticuffs and screaming.

The government decides to put oil pipes down in their village. To the corrupt government, neither land nor the citizens on the land may be permitted to block the path to profit. The old ways of communal values and collective discourse turn into government-fueled anarchy and carnal. There is the old, there is the new. Draw yourself a straight line, walk backward on it to erase your footsteps, and you will trip and crack your skull. Be unstable as water and you will not excel. Nigeria is a violent place and has grown more unstable. Ile deals with violence frankly and honestly but gently.

But it refuses to dramatize or tantalize. When students are beaten by the police, Ile says so. He focuses not on the blood and gore but on the pain of it, the pain of beaten bones and heartbroken parents. He never cheaply titillates the reader. The story is rich for it. So what exactly happens to Paul?

If you read the book, you will find out. While reading I was afraid the book would have an ambivalent ending: Ile tries no such trick; he treats the Utu family and the reader with respect. The dead will not be consoled; neither will those who live in the skin of their dead. And After Many Days explores how years of love, education, and bonding cannot undo the consequences of a split-second act of violence. Years of life cannot cancel out death. Several minutes after finishing this book, I went on Goodreads and rated it. I turned on my phone and received a message.

A friend of many years — in his twenties — died a few hours ago. His memorial service is on Sunday. Jan 19, Ryan Fields rated it really liked it Shelves: Ostensibly, And After Many Days is about the disappearance of a families eldest son, Paul, during a time of political and social unrest in Nigeria. Jowhor Ile uses a mostly nonlinear pattern to explain this event while simultaneously helping the reader to understand Paul and the rest of his family, the Utus.

The real story is in the interactions between the family members and their surrounding community — a culture that may be somewhat unfamiliar to urban America. History, family, and duality are the strongest themes present in the novel. Both novels begin with a heartbreaking event: However, I felt like Ile did a better job with providing a better cultural context for his story.

And After Many Days did what I most love to see in a novel: Maybe this was easier or more interesting considering enduring consequences of colonialism on African nations. Feb 03, Pat rated it really liked it. And After Many Days begins with the disappearance of Paul Utu and centers around his family's quest to find him. Jowhor Ile uses this as a backdrop to paint a picture of life in Nigeria across cultures and across the urban and rural divide.

One of the major aspects explored in this novel is the nature of Nigeria. Ile gives it a very dualist nature. The Utu family is both urban and rural having homes in both settings.


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The father, Bendic, has spent time as a Christian, but traditional religious be And After Many Days begins with the disappearance of Paul Utu and centers around his family's quest to find him. The father, Bendic, has spent time as a Christian, but traditional religious beliefs are still important to him. He has children with names from both traditions.

This dualism is in stark contrast to the divisiveness between the students and the government and the history of warfare within the country. The structure of this novel is interesting in that I think that it is more than just a structure that enables Ile to tell the story. The novel starts with the disappearance of Paul, which is really the climax of the story arc. Then, the book goes through years of backstory before finally returning to Paul's disappearance late in the book. With the amount of historical detail given in the book, I was left wondering if Ile's point was that nothing really changes in Nigeria.

The country always comes full circle to its unresolved issues. One thing that isn't too surprising is that large parts of the book center on the relationship between oil companies and the Nigerian government. Ile highlights the exploitive nature of this relationship towards the villagers in rural Nigeria, and he does so in an even-handed way that also shows the benefits that the rural Nigerians receive.

This is not unsurprising in post-colonial literature, but I thought that it was done well in this novel. My favorite part of this novel was its rich characters. I fell in love with the whole family, and their friends. Each character is well-developed in that they are each unique individuals who grow and change over the course of the story.

They were believable enough that I cared what happened to them, which is where books sometimes fail for me. I am happy for that. Overall, I thought this was a good novel. I was not blown away by it, but it was an enjoyable read that made me think at times. It was a lot like a lot of other post-colonial type novels, but the characters made it worth reading. Jan 29, Joi rated it liked it. This book was sent to me to review from a pool of books to be reviewed pre-release. I must say, I was not completely impressed.

While the author did a wonderful job showing the effects of political greed and unrest, how it can effect not just one generation but those after it, it didn't seem well-woven into the story as a whole. In the beginning, I was captured. Reading how the family moved and functioned in the first few days of his disappearance was intriguing. I wanted to find out what happen This book was sent to me to review from a pool of books to be reviewed pre-release.

And After Many Days by Jowhor Ile

I wanted to find out what happened to Paul; why he disappeared , who was behind it, etc. However, when Ajie begins to have these "flashbacks" of the years before Paul disappears, Paul's actual disappearance sort of fades into the background while the family's history becomes the foreground. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad each of the family member's characters and personalities are further developed and I loved getting to know them better. Bibi is a feisty, no nonsense type of girl but we see she has her softer spots as well; Ajie questions almost everything and has a knack for getting in trouble but looks to Paul most often; and Paul seems to be the balance between the two, being calm and levelheaded about things he often plays the mediator when Bibi and Ajie have their altercations.

I enjoyed reading about Ma and Bendic; being shown how strong Ma's love is for Bendic in her plight to locate him when he'd gone missing.