Author: Chinelo Okparanta
Genre: Short Story/Anthology
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Year of Publication: 2013
Number of Pages: 196
In these exquisite stories, Chinelo Okparanta introduces us to families burdened equally by the past and the future. Here, we meet a childless couple with very different desires, a college professor comforting a troubled student, a mother seeking refuge from an abusive husband, and a young woman waiting to join her lover abroad. High expectations consume them. Nigeria defines them.
'Her clear, elegant use of language and exploration of family life, migration and love are refreshing and distinctive.'- Diva
'Happiness is like water,' she says.'We're always trying to grab onto it, but it's always slipping between our fingers.' page 144
I'm obsessed with short stories now, even though they leave me aching for more. I love how they prompt me to conjour up crazy conclusions about what became of the characters. It's a bitter-sweet feeling being left with conclusions that aren't quite enough to you.
So Happiness, like Water....Hmmm an interesting read, really interesting with a title so opposite from it's content. The book is a collection of ten short stories: On Ohaeto Street, Wahala!, Fairness, Story,Story!, Runs Girl, America, Shelter, Grace, Designs and Tumours and Butterflies. Each story had completely different plots, but their characters had similar backgrounds (Most of them being Nigerian) I noticed Okparanta found a way of including Port Harcourt in almost every single story. I'm guessing it's because Port Harcourt is her birthplace, so it's only natural for her to feel connected to it.
In general, it gave me mixed feelings after each story and I love books that toy with my emotions (odd, yes i know). I awarded it four and a half stars, because although it's a lovely debut with moving stories, I still felt like it didn't deserve all my stars.
You can purchase the book here .
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