You forgive him and move on. For the sake of your marriage and your children. That is marriage. You manage, I manage, we all manage.“
Tomorrow I Become a Woman is a captivating and compelling read that follows the story of Uju as she navigates life as an impressionable, ambitious single woman dedicated to educating and better equipping herself for life ahead, determined to have the privilege of education which is freely given to men.
Uju experiences discontentment amongst her very stricken and culturally driven Nigerian mother, who consistently voices her disapproval of her daughter’s education and tells her that as a young woman, it is time to start looking for a prospect for marriage.
The novel explores the bittersweet relationship between mother and daughter, the perplexed harshness and tough love that sometimes grips your heart as a reader, causing you to sympathize with Uju, who wants to make her mother happy, but at the expense of her happiness.
It took me a while before I finally decided to get this book. At first, I didn’t want to read this as I was tired of reading about women suffering in their marriages. I have Stay With Me, Ogadinma, Purple Hibiscus, His Only Wife, and many more. I was tired and didn’t want my heart broken again. Eventually, I read it because, frankly, this is the reality of women- similar plot lines with similar struggles.
I imagine a situation where Uju’s mother was soft, a listener, and a friend to Uju. She wouldn’t be told to be grateful to Gozie for marrying her, and maybe she would have had the courage to bring Akin home.
This book is heartbreaking, overwhelming, and thought-provoking. There were times I dropped this book and stared. My emotions alternated between anger and sadness throughout the entire book. This world is essentially an unfair place for a woman, but the Nigerian culture is in a league of its own.
Aiwanose has written a magnificent debut. I loved everything about it and cannot recommend it highly enough.