Review: Sankofa

Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

This book was a lot of fun. It was a great story about a woman in search of her never-before-met father, who just so happened to be the former (and first) Prime Minister of Bamana, a tiny (fictional) African country. Anna, the protagonist, discovers her father’s journal among her mother’s things after her mother passes. After reading it and a Google search, she discovers her father’s role as prime minister and his controversial reign.

Among all of this, Anna must reckon with finding herself, her failing marriage, and her relationship with her adult daughter. It’s laced with moments of humor and is overall a relatively light-hearted look at what makes us family, what unites us, what calls us home.

I particularly liked the lore of the sankofa, a mystical bird that looks backward while flying forward. For Anna, it symbolized her inability to completely handle her future while remaining mired in her past.

Sankofa was an excellent novel, and a relatively quick read. I read it in two days and was looking forward to each chapter every time I picked it up. For anyone looking for a book about belonging, I would highly recommend Sankofa.

Dates read: February 3-4, 2022

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