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Coconut: A Black girl fostered by a white family in the 1960s and her search for belonging and identity Kindle Edition
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A generation of Nigerian children were born in Britain in the fifties and sixties, privately fostered by white families, then taken to Nigeria by their parents.
Coconut is the story of one of those children.
1963, North London. Nan fosters one-year-old Florence Ọlájídé and calls her ‘Ann.’ Florence adores her foster mother more than anything but Nan, and the children around her, all have white skin and she can’t help but feel different. Then, four years later, after a weekend visit to her birth parents, Florence never returns to Nan. Two months after, sandwiched between her mother and father plus her three siblings, six-year-old Florence steps off a ship in Lagos to the fierce heat of the African sun.
Swapping the lovely, comfortable bed in her room at Nan’s for a mat on the floor of the living room in her new home, Florence finds herself struggling to adjust. She wants to embrace her cultural heritage but doesn’t speak Yoruba and knows nothing of the customs. Clashes with her grandmother, Mama, the matriarch of the family, result in frequent beatings. Torn between her early childhood experiences and the expectations of her African culture, she begins to question who she is. Nigerian, British, both?
Florence’s story is an unputdownable tale of loss and loneliness, surviving poverty, maltreatment and fighting to get an education. Most of all, it’s a moving, uplifting and inspiring account of one woman’s self-determination to discover who she is and find her way to a place she can call home. Perfect for fans of Lemn Sissay’s My Name is Why and Tara Westover’s Educated.
Audiobook narrated by Adjoa Andoh and featured on the Graham Norton Bookclub
What readers are saying about Coconut:
‘Wow, how do I even do this book justice… I absolutely loved this… I would recommend this book to everyone… important and powerful… completely captivating and fascinating… stunning.’ Sibzzreads ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Heart-breaking… eye-opening… heart-warming… I couldn't recommend this enough… fantastic!’ NetGalley reviewer
‘Extraordinarily moving...a stunning read, beautifully written with searing honesty and humor.’ Abi Daré, internationalbestselling author of The Girl with the Louding Voice
‘One of the best non-fiction books I have read…Amazing.’ NetGalley reviewer
‘I sped through it as I could not put it down.’ Goodreads reviewer
‘Remarkable…with grace, wit, insight and not a little heartbreak.’ Adjoa Andoh, actress and star of Netflix series Bridgerton
‘Incredible… There were places I was shocked; places I was saddened; places I was amazed, and places where I laughed… Florence is now right up there at the top of my mental list of 'inspirational people'. NetGalley reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘I found myself completely immersed from the start! Florence writes with honesty, beauty and courage…delving deeply into some of the most important issues of our times.’ Christy Lefteri, international bestselling author of The Beekeeper of Aleppo
‘A piece of poetic resilience,Coconut is an integral intervention in our understanding of race, identity and belonging.’ David Lammy
‘Fascinating, emotional and enlightening… I felt myself rooting for Florence all the way… captivating.Highly recommended.’Karen King
"In her memoir Coconut, the remarkable Florence O?la´ji´de´ shares with us a story of great encouragement. With grace, wit, insight and not a little heartbreak, through the prism of her own experiences, she adds to the conversation around modern migration; who we are in the world and how we navigate the cultures which have shaped us. Resilience, love and a loyalty to our unique sense of self, lie at the heart of her story. And it is by giving our attention to the stories of others, that our own worlds open up."―Adjoa Andoh, actress and star of Bridgerton
"I found myself completely immersed from the start! Florence writes with honesty, beauty and courage…delving deeply into some of the most important issues of our times."―Christy Lefteri, international bestselling author of The Beekeeper of Aleppo --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
Florence returned to the UK in 1989 with her family. She worked as a teacher before her appointment as headteacher of a large London Primary school. In 2003 she was appointed as one of Her Majesty’s Inspector of Schools in England.
Florence holds an honors degree in Education from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, and an MA in Further and Higher Education from the Institute of Education, University of London. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B08YRTXJW6
- Publisher : Thread (July 13, 2021)
- Publication date : July 13, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 1683 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 386 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #112,650 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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interesting to read about the Yuroba’s way of life. When you think the grass is greener on the other side, you have to look back and appreciate what the life on your side offers. You have to decipher the good the bad and take the good with you.
This book is informative, interesting and inspirational.
Top reviews from other countries
It combines a memoir/biography with genuine enlightenment on some history and cultural education of life in Nigeria.
Its inspiring to hear the battle to negotiate a new life in Britain, and provides an open description and understanding of the cultural differences and impact on her own and her families growth in this country.
Its fantastic to hear of everything florence has achieved, as she is clearly a woman who deserves those achievements.
I'll be passing this on to many!
. Mutual respect and compromise can help to resolve misunderstandings .
Florence has told her life story very eloquently and the position she has reached in her career is testament to her search for understanding and her determination to do her very best always.