This House Is Not for Sale

E.C. Osondu. Harper, $25.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-06-199088-5
Osondu’s (Voice of America) novel captures the depth and breadth of African society in a neighborhood in a nameless country where fable-like stories revolve around a marvelous ancestral house run by the narrator’s grandfather. It begins with a captivating tale about how one of the nameless narrator’s ancestors, “a strong juju man,” beguiled a king and got the “Family House” out of it. From there, the vibrant cast of characters is introduced, each given their own chapter. These characters have impact on the lives of those in the Family House in myriad ways: from the humiliated Ndozo, a seller of goods who is severely punished for stealing from the family till, to the oddball Uncle Aya whose devotion to “End of the World Ministries” is a cautionary tale about pastors predicting the apocalypse, to the unlucky Gabriel, who, no matter what he does, always seems to get the short end of the stick. Throughout, a marvelous chorus of community voices chimes in, passionately commenting on the action and swaying from jealousy to awe to amazement, as fates rise and fall. Osondu uses the house as a prism through which to depict the events of the neighborhood, proving that our stories outlive the places we inhabit. Agent: Jin Auh, Wylie Agency. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/08/2014
Release date: 02/01/2015
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 192 pages - 978-0-06-209778-1
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-06-199090-8
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