‘How does one talk of a love that fills one’s stomach like food?’

Genre: Literary Fiction

Published: April 4th ,2023

Pages: 325

Rate: 3.5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Udodi’s death was the beginning of the raging storm but at that moment, we thought that the worst had already happened, and that life would treat us with more kindness.
When seventeen-year-old Nani loses her older sister and then her father in quick succession, her world spins off its axis. Isolated and misunderstood by her grieving mother and sister, she’s drawn to an itinerant preacher, a handsome self-proclaimed man of God who offers her a new place to belong. All too soon, Nani finds herself estranged from her family, tethered to her abusive husband by children she loves but cannot fully comprehend. She must find the courage to break free and wrestle her life back—without losing what she loves most.
A modern reimagining of the myth of Hades and Persephone within a Nigerian family, The Middle Daughter charts Nani’s journey to freedom and homecoming.

My Take

After I finished reading The Middle Daughter I gave it 4.5 stars, and the book club happened and after the session I ended up dropping it up to 3.5 stars. Here’s why.

The Middle Daughter’s storyline is nothing new to me. There are many books which are similar to it but I did love the perspective the author chose and how they told the story. It came off the page and I truly appreciated it. The book is heavy on grief and it’s well explored.

I love the sibling dynamic brought out in the book. It was lovely to read about. I love the emotions this book brought out in me. In that, I hated everyone but the dad and first born sister, and I had so many moments of anger, disgust, shock and indifference. A book that can take me on such a roller coaster, dear readers, earns some stars.

‘Grief never ends but it loses its rawness.’

What I didn’t like: The chorus as a character. I wish they were used to tell more on the story or give a different perspective on the characters, heck I would have even settle for them breaking the fourth wall. The believability of the story is something I questioned as well. There are glaring plot holes that for me to enjoy the book I had to suspend disbelief.

I found the plot quite underdeveloped and some story lines could have been better fleshed out. Nani, who is the main character, has barely any character growth and it was frustrating reading her at some point. I also found the ending quite underwhelming, it left so many unnecessary questions that could have been easily covered in the book.

All in all I did like some aspects of the book and I found it an okay read. Not a bad book, but also not the best. I would say read it, but don’t go in with expectations.

Have you read The Middle Daughter? What did you think about it?