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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive Affecting Story - Good Thought Provoking Read
This is a well-told story of a beloved girl child from a traditional Nigerian village family in the early to mid twentieth century who grows to womanhood. It chronicles the twists and turns her life takes when she is married and fails to conceive. She is judged to be the thing that is only spoken of in whispers -- barren. The protagonist, Nnu Ego, is first revealed...
Published on March 15 2000 by Eunice P. Ave

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Joys of Motherhood is unacceptably contrived & intruded.
Emecheta has more right to present the plight of African women than many other authors. She is honestly concerned with the plight of women, and indeed all people, in her homeland of Nigeria. Unfortunatley, however, she abandons all objectivity to beat a reader over the head with her justified but forced and depressing message.
The style of he novel is excessivley...
Published on March 25 1999


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive Affecting Story - Good Thought Provoking Read, March 15 2000
This review is from: Joys Of Motherhood (Paperback)
This is a well-told story of a beloved girl child from a traditional Nigerian village family in the early to mid twentieth century who grows to womanhood. It chronicles the twists and turns her life takes when she is married and fails to conceive. She is judged to be the thing that is only spoken of in whispers -- barren. The protagonist, Nnu Ego, is first revealed as a simple woman who wants to fulfill the traditional role of wife and mother. Her first husband judges her unworthy in her barrenness and returns her to her family in disgrace. She is then married off to an older man who earns his living as a domestic worker for a white couple in the city. She is at least a wife, if not a mother. Lo and behold, she is not barren and conceives children with this man. She must and does find work as a petty trader to support her children, which is urgent because her husband's income is inadequate to feed his family. Nnu Ego must also do without the traditional supports for her position that could be found in village life. Like many third world women, she finds that she has all of the myriad responsibilities of wife and motherhood, with little of the rights and honors that would normally be bestowed on her as the chief or first wife. Her problems are manifold; she and her children almost die of starvation when her husband goes away to fight in the European war. He marries another wife on a seeming whim as is his right. They are all housed in one room in the servant's quarters. The second wife must also scrape to survive and she and Nnu Ego are ever locked in a battle of wills while at the same time trying to maintain their dignity and feed and educate their children even though they are illiterates themselves. The only way she can raise her children is to sacrifice her strength, pride, and well-being. One of the recurring themes of Ms. Emecheta's works is the encroachment of European society which negtively overlays the traditional partiarchal African culture and thus makes women in Nnu Ego's position especially vulnerable to misuse and ignominy. All of Nnu Ego's choices are painful, yet she accomplishes the seemingly impossible task of singlehandedly bestowing a decent life on her eight children that survive to adulthood. There is no place and no impetus, in this new and entangled euro-africo culture, to honor or mourn Nnu Ego. Nor is it imagined by members of society that it is right and necessary to recognize that it is her love and dedication to her family that enables her to accomplish the extraordinary; and that without her, and the countless women like her, the family, the culture, and the society would have fallen completely. Nnu Ego desired and had earned love from those to whom she had given all -- indeed a universal desire of women. Ms. Emecheta's story will make you wish, hope, hold your breath, and cry as you follow the heroine on her fateful journey. This book will transform you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic......Read the last chapter with eyes full of tears, March 30 1999
By 
This review is from: Joys Of Motherhood (Paperback)
An indept exposure to the challenges faced by an uneducated african woman determined to survive in colonial Nigeria. A story of a woman who went through the trials of life, first as the apple of her fathers eyes and the most sort after bride. Only to be barren and looses her husband to another woman. To hide her shame, she is married off to a man she has never met in the colonial city of Lagos (Nigeria). Read this book and see how she faces the challenges of living in a strange land and trying to abide by two different cultures. The one she was brought up in, groomed as a true African woman and the one she is forced to live in as an adultrated african, spieced with the inferior ingredients of the colonial masters.. You just might be forced to compare her with your mother. Read this book and understand the true meaning of the word MOTHER.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In this well told story, the "Joys of Motherhood" are few, Nov. 5 1998
By 
J. Vasilius (Tucson, Arizona, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Joys Of Motherhood (Paperback)
Buchi Emecheta, a Nigerian sociologist and herself a mother, writes the story of an Ibuzu woman in the years surrounding WWII. In its mix of humor and pathos, deft characterizations and evocation of Nigeria ways, the Joys of Motherhood is a seemingly simple story of a woman trapped by cultural mores and expectations, chief among them that she should find fulfillment in the joys of motherhood. Actually, the story is masterful as Emecheta succeeds in the difficult task of opening a window for the Western reader without condescension, lecturing, preaching or boring her reader. Although with great differences, the book reminded me greatly of Frank McCourt's autobiographical Angela's Ashes, and gave me much the same satisfaction.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The real plot..., Nov. 22 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Joys Of Motherhood (Paperback)
I have to argue with VICTRAV's telling of the book...
Nnu Ego was sent to marry a man she did not know yet - but this was after a failed marriage to a man she did know. Also, Nnu Ego knew her future husbands brother and family - just not him. Yes, Nnu Ego had some struggle in regards to having children but having children is what made her happy and further made her a woman. Her husband, Nnaife, did take another wife, his deceased brothers wife as Ibo custom deemed proper. Adaku - the second wife taken ultimately leaves Nnaife because she doesn't like him. Okpo, the third wife came into their lives when Nnu Ego was reaching her 40's - and instead of offering irrritance like Adaku, offered help to Nnu Ego. Wanting to leave Nnaife and Lagos are thoughts that cross Nnu Ego's mind throughout the entire book but its not until the encarciration of Nnaife that Nnu Ego returns to her home in Ibuza. Having no husband and all her children gone their own ways Nnu Ego's life seems a sad one but in the end, after she passes, her children pay omage to her with "the greatest funeral Ibuza had ever seen." (Emecheta p.224)
A definately important thing to remember when reading this book is not to read it from your culture's eyes but to try and understand another cultures ways.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Un-Joys of Motherhood, Dec 10 2003
This review is from: Joys Of Motherhood (Paperback)
The Joys of Motherhood follows the life of the daughter of a Great Chief in Nigeria during the first half of the 20th century. Trying to follow the societal norms of the Ibos Nnu Ego goes through a very hard life. Her first arranged marriage was failure because she could not have kids. He second marriage leaves her with many kids but a very difficult life, in which she stays tied to because of tradition. After trying to survive, in the city of Lagos, mostly on her own, she has nine children and in the end goes back to Ibuza, her home. The title "Joys of Motherhood" becomes ironic because she spends her life dedicated to motherhood but in the end, dies alone and miserable. Her children who have become modernized due to the colonization of the British in Lagos, become a series of disapointments for not fulfilling the traditional way of life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully written and easy to read, loved the characters., July 6 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Joys Of Motherhood (Paperback)
This book was exciting from the very first page to the very last. The reading was easy and the pages flew by. You could feel the emotions of every character in the story. I read this book for my World Literature class in college, the book was Wonderful:)!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Thought-Provoking Fiction, March 24 2002
This review is from: The Joys of Motherhood (Paperback)
Joys of Motherhood was one of the books I read for my Post Colonial African lit class, and I have to say it was my favourite novel on the course. I could barely put this book down. Emecheta rights in an engaging style that gets the reader wrapped up in the lives of the characters. I found myself cheering on Adaku, hating Oshia and wanting Nnu Ego to break free from the patriarchal system.
This is not the kind of book you read to see how it ends since you know from the beginning it will end in sadness. You read this book only to know the characters and their plight. It even gives you a look at how _men_ are victims of the patriarchal system as well. I fully recommend Joys of Motherhood to anyone who enjoys fully engaging characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing look into another culture!, Jan. 23 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Joys Of Motherhood (Paperback)
I had to read this book for my World Lit. class in college. I must say it is one of the best books I have ever read. Easy to follow from begining to end, I did not want to put it down. I recommend this to everyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing, April 16 2006
This review is from: Joys Of Motherhood (Paperback)
The writing is so straightforward and appears simple but there is so much depth in the novel. It's an easy read and one of the most pleasurable books I've read in a long time! I would recommend it to anyone.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A look at women in Africa, Sept. 29 2002
This review is from: Joys Of Motherhood (Paperback)
The bride price is paid and a young Nigerian girl is sent off to Lagos to a man she has never met. She struggles through the years to bear his children. She feeds and clothes them, something her husband seems unwilling or unable to do so. He marries other women, yet is unwilling to give his first wife the honor she is due. In the end, he rejects her for his youngest wife, and she must return in shame to her family. This book is well worth reading to explore the conflicts of traditional life and colonial life in Nigeria, as well as many other African countries.
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Joys Of Motherhood
Joys Of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta (Paperback - April 27 2000)
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