We Were Girls Once

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From Aiwanose Odafen, the author of Tomorrow I Become a Woman, an ambitious, moving novel that charts three women's shifting relationships against a modernising, volatile Nigeria in the 1990s and beyond.

‘We were three: complete, as we were meant to be…’
Ego, Zina and Eriife were always destined to be best friends, ever since their grandmothers sat next to each other on a dusty bus to Lagos in the late 1940s, forging a bond that would last generations. But over half a century later, Nigeria is a new and modern country. As the three young women navigate the incessant strikes and political turmoil that surrounds them, their connection is shattered by a terrible assault. In the aftermath, nothing will remain the same as life takes them down separate paths.

For Ego, now a high-powered London lawyer, success can’t mask her loneliness and feelings of being an outsider. Desperate to feel connected to Nigeria, she escapes into a secret life online. Zina’s ambition is to be anyone but herself; acting proves the ultimate catharsis, but it comes at the cost of her family. And Eriife surprises everyone by morphing from a practising doctor to a ruthless politician’s perfect wife.

When Ego returns home, the three women’s lives become entwined once more, as Nigeria’s political landscape fractures. Their shared past will always connect them, but can they – and their country – overcome it?

‘Odafen writes with great insight and compassion about life, sisterhood, family, community and power. Each of her characters is so fully realised, their histories so richly drawn that they feel alive. This is a superbly written novel’ Chika Unigwe, author of The Middle Daughter

‘A gorgeous story of the redemptive power of friendship. With moving and immersive prose, Odafen invites us into the lives of three friends whose lives take remarkable turns, diverge and return to each other. Deftly, gracefully, she paints a vivid and unflinching portrait of Nigerian society of the past and present, its failures and triumphs… I thoroughly felt this book’ Francesca Ekwuyasi, author of Butter Honey Pig Bread


Product Details

£20.00  £19.00
Simon & Schuster Ltd
Publish Date

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