Welcome to my latest book review on the amazing book "The Vagaries of Life"
About Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko:
Joy Nwosu was born in Enugu, Anambra State of south-eastern Nigeria. Her parents were Charles Belonwu and Deborah Nwosu. She is the fifth in rank of the seven children of her parents. Joy was born into a music family. Joy, now retired, was a music teacher, trained in Santa Cecilia, Rome, and obtained her Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Michigan, USA. She has written and published extensively on national and international scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers. Her short story I Come from Utopia was published in African Voices, Spring/Summer, 2007, pg. 18, and her first English novel; Mirror of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women was published in 2011, and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Contest in 2012. She has also two books published in the Italian language. Joy is a trained musician, and taught music for 35 years. She writes, performs, and record folk songs.
About the book:
In a world where everything is in motion, with everyone heading toward a destination, some to perdition and some to salvation, The Vagaries of Life… is a collection of short stories where the characters are on their various journeys.
Helen in You Will Die If You Scream, out of nowhere, finds herself in some life’s drama and intrigue. In the Silent Thief, the children play on their mother’s intelligence. Is This Love Or What? takes us through an emotional roller-coaster. Florence introduces a murder mystery element and suspense that questions our beliefs. In Simple Things of Life, the God element seems to reassure us. Then, In The Train, the doubts return. The Break-In shocks us back into reality, and so does Wedged In. At last, Girls’ Talk brings relief from all this action-packed, drama and tension. Or did it?
The Vagaries of Life is a collection of short stories and life experiences from the eyes of women from all over the world. Joy takes the reader to a place of empowerment and courage in many of her stories in this wonderful collection. All of these stories shared a common theme, the strength, courage, and empowerment of women. This collection is the ultimate review of feminism from the perception of African culture.
One of my favorite stories from this collection is "The Break-In" where a single mother has been raising her children on her own for many years, finds her "ex husband" attempting to intrusively come back into their lives without notice. The story beautifully described the cultural differences of women in African society, where they are treated as property rather than as individuals with human hearts.
This theme carried throughout this prolific collection of short stories. Some of my other favorite stories were, "Wedged-In" and "Simple Things in Life". I appreciated the cultural lesson Joy beautifully transcribed to the readers. She has a beautiful flow in most of the stories in this collection. In a couple of the stories, I did find it difficult to get into the flow of the story at first due to some stylized diction which is noted throughout her writing style, however, I was able to find my groove with her stories after a few pages. I think sometimes as writers we get into our heads too much in an effort to take people to a different place, which can affect the readers flow and ability to get into the story. Overall, "The Vagaries of Life and Girls' Talk" was beautifully scripted and shared many experiences of empowerment, dehumanization, and courage that many women all over the world still have to face. I rate this collection a 4:5 Stars.