Lola enjoys the perks of being a graduate in Senegal until she falls in love and decides to move to a foreign land with a man she barely knows—a decision she later regrets after years away from home.
Bisi took me on an emotional roller coaster with Daughter in Exile, exploring topics that we Africans sometimes shy away from. There were times I just wanted to smack Lola in the face, and there were times I just wanted to give her a big hug.
Lola’s journey shows us that America isn’t really the greener pasture we think it is and how hard it was back in the day to be a black person in a white community. Her experience shows that it is very possible to struggle for years abroad before you find your path. It was also surprising to her that the friends she made in Senegal lived differently in America.
The shege Lola experienced in Daughter in Exile needs to be studied. From getting impregnated by a man who wasn’t completely honest with her to marrying another who was also not honest 🙄. Yeah, she was quite naive when it came to picking her men, but she was strong when it came to her kids. I love how the author portrayed the strength of a mother. Even while going through hell, she put her children first.
On the topic of religion, I still can’t understand how she managed to attend that church filled with hypocrites. Her Atheist and Jewish friends showed more love and kindness to her than the people from her church. She questioned her faith a couple of times but found balance somewhere in between. I also liked the theme of the support system. She met a couple of horrible people but also met a group of people who supported her till she was able to find her path.
Let’s not get me started on what black women face in their place of work. Lola experienced difficulties in getting a job and experienced sexual assault and discrimination. The most painful part of it all was the absence of a body or institution to report these things to. She was forced to swallow these hardships because nobody would listen to a black woman.
To Africans, tradition is everything, so I totally understand why Lolo’s mother was pissed at her for following men that the family knew nothing about and for also picking names for her kids without seeking her mother’s opinion. In the end, I love that she taught her children her native language and told them things about her hometown.
Daughter in Exile is an interesting read. You might get upset a couple of times because of Lola’s character, but it is worth the read. I totally recommend it!