IN LONDON- Surviving the Traumas- BOOK REVIEW
“Ada in London” another thought provoking and insightful book authored by Grace Ukala has been published and it is a must have for everyone of African descent living in the United Kingdom.
Gracy Ukala was born in Mbiri, Nigeria. A renowned teacher, Ms Ukala (then Mrs Osifo) was Principal of Emotan College, Benin City, Nigeria from 1981-1989. In London, she headed several school departments. Ms Ukala is not new to getting her works published. Her published works include two novels: Dizzy Angel (1985) - (Gracy Osifo), and The Broken Bond (2001). She now runs her own successful business Goldsparkle Consulting services Limited in London.
Ada leaves her home, her six children, her husband and her beloved career in Nigeria to travel to London. Fred, her husband, had recently lost a substantial sum of borrowed money abroad. He brings serious pressure to bear on Ada to go and work in London to "salvage" the family from financial disgrace. Despite her protests and warning that "such a separation could cost us our marriage", Ada is persuaded by her husband and children to go to London. Ada's traumas, losses, failures and successes are very sensitively narrated in Ada in London. It is the story of one woman's sacrifice and attempt to serve her family with love. In addition, Ada aimed to retain her human dignity, her spiritual relationship with God, and her right as a woman to some happiness. Ada undergoes many changes and in the process matures both emotionally and spiritually. She learns to trust God more, but more especially, Ada learns to rely on herself and her own abilities to survive the traumas of living in a strange country with no real friend around! Ada's experiences are unique but also quite universal. Hers is the story of pain, traumas and some joy! Does Ada achieve all of her goals? It would be worth finding out!
Ada resolved to put her miserable memories away and have a good Christmas. But on the 24th of December, a letter arrived from Fred, telling her that it was now confirmed that he and the children couldn't come as planned. Fred's friend had travelled without them because, he told Fred, he didn't run his business as a charity. "Poor me", Ada sighed. "I can't even have the pleasure of having my family with me for Christmas." She went into the bathroom at about 9 am to have her bath. In her sorrow, she forgot the rule about the bathroom door. She slammed the door. As soon as the door slammed, Ada remembered that you could not open the door from within because the door handle was broken. And she was all alone in the house. Her flatmate, David, had gone to work since 6 am, and would not be back until well after 9 pm. "Oh, my God!", Ada cried, "Oh, God, what have I done?". She looked through the small bathroom window to see if she could attract any one's attention out there. She looked out for a long while, but there was no one about. "Say your last prayers, Ada, Baby", she said to herself. "Today is your dying day. You shall die frozen up like fresh beef for export. Such arrant stupidity is punishable only by death! Your children shall hear it, all the world will hear it. 'A Nigerian Ph.D. candidate freezes to death in a London bathroom!'"
Please note that The Broken Bond can be purchased from Barnes and Noble:
OTHER WORKS BY GRACY UKALA as GRACY OSIFO
- Dramas of Love and Marriage (Nwamife Press, 1978)
- English Language Basics (Idodo-Umeh, 1980))
- A Selection of Poems in New Nigeria Verse (UPL, 1985) )
- Short Stories in Salsloze Asche - Gracy Osifo, Flora Nwapa and Zainab Alkali - (1989, Zurich)
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