Night Dancer by Chika Unigwe

Night Dancer is about a girl Mma who is seeking answers about her family after her mother’s passing.

First of all, I don’t know why Chika chose the title Night Dancer because I don’t know when the night danced in this story unless I’m too dense to understand.

The book starts with the present and takes us to the past and back to the present, and not for once do you get confused. Everyone gets a voice in this book, and everyone gets a chance to tell their story their own way and speak their truth.

This book is about a mother’s resilience, strength, and audacity to not settle even when everyone told her to settle with her husband’s infidelity and live with her maid as a co-wife.

It’s about the silent sacrifices that mothers make and, above all, the burden of motherhood.

This book is also about unfair and barbaric cultures that make women small, treat them insignificantly, expect less from them, and treat them like nothing.

A man sleeps with the maid and impregnates her, deceives the wife he claims to love, and this same wife, Ezi, is required to apologize to the husband because she has only a daughter for him while the maid has a son.

Her parents disown her, and she is the one expected to come and apologize to them for angering them even though they were the ones who missed her.

This book reminds me of Afi from His Only Wife in some ways, how she braved the odds and left with her child because she was anted better for herself. I am ashamed of some of the thoughts that crossed my mind while reading this book; when Ezi found out her husband had cheated on her with the maid and had the guts to bring the maid to live with them, I was annoyed that Ezi wanted to leave, I secretly wished she would stay and endure it because there is love and plenty money. But I quickly banished it as fast as it came.

I appreciate the story and the structure. Very few writers can write a story structured this way and still pull it off.

P.S: Sex working pays that much? Wow, send rich clients my way. After all, I’m not using the vagina for anything. I want to be rich too. No money is bad money.

Themes

  • Womanhood
  • Culture
  • Family
  • Motherhood
  • Sacrifices

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