'An original, witty coming-of-age tale... an iridescent introduction to a fascinating nation.'—Observer Magazine
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Now a classic of world literature, this beautifully written, funny and piercingly honest story of a contemporary Yoruba woman’s coming-of-age in Lagos is a heartfelt drama of family, friendship, community and divided loyalties.
It is 1971, a year after the Biafran War, and Nigeria is under military rule. The politics of the state matter less to eleven-year-old Enitan than whether her mother, now deeply religious since the death of Enitan’s brother, will allow her friendship with the new girl next door, the brash and beautiful Sheri Bakare.
Everything Good Will Come charts the unusual friendship and fate of these two girls; one who is prepared to manipulate the traditional system and one who attempts to defy it.
Enitan’s is the story of a fiercely intelligent, strong young woman coming of age in a culture that still insists on feminine submission. She sees the poverty and knows about the brutal military dictatorship but it is not until politics invades her own family that she defies her husband and moves from bystander to activist. She bucks the familial and political systems until she is confronted with the one desire that is too precious to forfeit in the name of personal freedom—her desire for a child.
Sefi Atta is also author of The Bead Collector.
Tosin, Bookstagrammer29 January 2021
I couldn’t have picked a better book to read considering how the past few weeks have been in Nigeria. It was disheartening to see a book set at least 40 years ago feel so familiar and it was almost like Sefi Atta was writing about the present day Nigeria. Nothing has changed. Not the police brutality, unlawful arrests and detaining of citizens, lack of basic amenities and just bad governance in general. Not even the pattern in which citizens are being silenced by the government has changed.
It wasn’t all gloomy tho as we got to see a beautiful friendship between the main character Enitan and her best friend Sheri.
It was refreshing to read and see how the friendship between these women blossomed into sisterhood. I absolutely loved them especially because of their differences. They both chose not to conform to societal pressure and were very confident in who they were. Sheri did not let a past trauma define her worth and future and Enitan did not shrink to fit into the perfect wife narrative. I had no choice but to stan!
Everything Good Will Come is a profound story that showcased a myriad of themes from friendships, family, womanhood, feminism to the culture/traditions and politics in Nigeria. Sefi Atta is an amazing writer and she took us on an unforgettable journey. She wrote characters so flawed and relatable. This is one of my favourite books ever and I think everyone should read this. Such a timeless piece of work. When I think of how we young people in Nigeria have made our voices heard in the past few weeks, I can’t help but feel like everything good will come eventually. We can’t give up.