Summary and book reviews of Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree

by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani X
Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
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  • Published:
    Sep 2018, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Karen Lewis

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About this Book

Book Summary

Based on interviews with young women who were kidnapped by Boko Haram, a Muslim terrorist group, this poignant novel by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani tells the timely story of one girl who was taken from her home in Nigeria and her harrowing fight for survival.

A new pair of shoes, a university degree, a husband - these are the things that a girl dreams of in a Nigerian village. And with a government scholarship right around the corner, everyone can see that these dreams aren't too far out of reach.

But the girl's dreams turn to nightmares when her village is attacked by Boko Haram in the middle of the night. Kidnapped, she is taken with other girls and women into the forest where she is forced to follow her captors' radical beliefs and watch as her best friend slowly accepts everything she's been told.

Still, the girl defends her existence. As impossible as escape may seem, her life - her future - is hers to fight for.

SURPRISE

Principal is standing in front of my house. I nearly drop to the ground and die.

What could have brought this revered man here?

After a greeting and a curtsy, I lead him into the living room to see Papa. He insists that I stay with them.

Papa stands from his mat. His eyebrows are furrowed.

He silences his radio.

"You're welcome," Papa says once. "You are welcome," he says twice. "You are welcome," he says again and again.

My school fees were late again this term but Papa eventually paid, for sure, so Principal is not here to collect a debt.

But what else?

"Your daughter has been selected for the Borno State government scholarship program for exceptional children from disadvantaged homes," Principal says. "Anything—anything—she wishes to study right up to master's degree level, the government is willing to pay."

FAME

By morning, every boy and girl in my school knows.

By afternoon, every father and mother in the village knows.

"Congratulations!...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Ultimately, Nwaubani has created a novel that is a hopeful call out to the resilient human spirit, showcasing young people and their communities who struggle to create a path forward from a place of violence and despair.   (Reviewed by Karen Lewis).

Full Review (952 words).

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Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Unflinching in its direct view of an ongoing tragedy, this important novel will open discussions about human rights and violence against women and girls worldwide.

Booklist
Starred Review. Poignant and powerful, this is a story that will be hard for any reader to forget.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. A worthy piece of work that superbly and empathetically tells a heartbreaking tale.

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Beyond the Book

Baobab: The Tree of Life

Baobab TreeA prominent symbol in Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, the mighty baobab tree sparks the imagination because of its unusual shape and longevity. Traditional Shona myth explains that the tree showed too much pride and was always whining and calling other creatures bad names, so the creator turned it upside-down as punishment, hence it stands today with many root-like branches reaching to the sky.

Traditional medicinal lore ascribes powerful properties to the sacred baobab. Some say that baby boys who bathe in water infused with baobab bark will grow up strong. Others say that if you pick a baobab flower, you will be eaten by a lion; conversely, if you drink water infused with the seeds, you'll be protected from crocodile attacks. In ...

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