Growing up is a strange affair for Sam, a young Nigerian, who lives in a slum called The Blocks. His father only speaks to his children once he’s drunk enough alcohol, and his mother won’t accept that Sam is different from his siblings. Sam is formed by the people he meets: a young gay man he can’t rescue from his tormentors, a girl whose rapist escapes when the women of the block seek justice, and Pa Suku, a strange figure who opens Sam’s eyes to books, music, poetry, and jazz. When Sam goes to college, he is faced with his own lack of belonging and confronts his own sexuality. This book is the lyrical, challenging account of the multiple lives of a young Nigerian who refuses to accept that he has been shaped by the traumas of his past.
I received an ARC of The Day Ends Like Any Day from Netgalley. I decided to request this book, because I enjoy stories that describe how people are influenced by the people in their lives and the events that they have experienced.
This book is #ownvoices for Nigerian representation.
Sam is a young, queer (interested in men and women) Nigerian. I thought he would be an interesting person to read about, because so much of his creativity is a influenced by his life. However, I never really understood how his life affected and influenced his work.
I loved the bookish themes that would emerge every now and then. The discussion of long-lost authors. The importance that certain books had on him and how they influenced his way of thinking.
The book has interesting themes that discuss issues different people have with e.g. racism, with queerantagonism, sex worker antagonism, and poverty. I really enjoyed these passages, as they read as a brief introduction into the different topics.
The first few sections of the book were great. The meandering pacing was appropriate, and the writing style was beautiful to read. However, I soon realised that the pacing wasn’t going to pick up in speed, and the more I read, the more strenuous the lyrical writing style became. I just had huge problems staying interested in the book, as it never felt like the story was going anywhere.
There are ableist words in this book, which are not called out.
I expected this book to be written in a very different style than it was. The low rating is a combination of the writing style, the lack of a proper plot, and the sudden ending. It was absolutely not my type of book.
Trigger warnings: rape, sexual abuse, suicide, violence, homoantagonism, ableism (not called out).
Have you read The Day Ends Like Any Day? Are you interested in reading it?