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Everything Good Will Come Paperback – August 15, 2016

4.1 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This lively first novel breaks new ground with a close-up, honest story of a contemporary Yoruba woman's coming-of-age in Lagos. Nigerian-born author Atta now lives in the U.S., and she offers a hilarious if angry take on the Western view of dark, noble, savage Africa "with snakes and vines and ooga--booga dialect." Yet with all the fast talk, this is a heartfelt drama of family, friendship, and community, especially among women. Enitan Taiwo always knows how privileged she is in her lawyer father's home. She sees the poverty and knows about the brutal military dictatorship. But it is not until politics invades her own family that she defies her kind husband and moves from bystander to activist. Never reverential, Enitan's first-person narrative reveals the dynamic diversity within the city, the differences across class, generation, gender, faith, language, tradition, and individual character. Differences, yes, but sometimes connections, too. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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"Sefi Atta's first novel is a beautifully paced stroll in the shoes of a woman growing up in a country struggling to find its post-Independence identity... The main characters are well realized, and the supporting cast -- campaigning journalist, put-upon mother-in-law, co-wives in a polygamous marriage, stroppy secretary -- avoid caricature. The relaxed tempo of the narrative allows for proper character development. Everything Good Will Come depicts the struggles women face in a conservative society. This is convincing; more remarkable is what the novel has to say about the need to speak out when all around is falling apart." --Times Literary Supplement London)

"Again and again Atta's writing tugs at the heart, at the conscience. At the same time, reflecting the resilience of the Lagosians whose lives she explores, humour is almost constant, effervescent, most often satirical slant." --Sunday Independent, South Africa

Everything Good Will Come is an original, witty coming-of-age tale: Tom Sawyer meets Jane Eyre, with Nigerian girls. Reading Everything Good....you can feel the dust and the sun... an iridescent introduction to a fascinating nation." --The Observer Magazine (London)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 335 pages
  • Publisher: Interlink Pub Group (August 15, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566567041
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566567046
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #601,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Sefi Atta's first book is the story of two Nigerian girls and follows them as they grow up. Next door neighbours,in an affluent neighbourhood by the Lagos lagoon,Enitan and Sheri become fast friends.

Yet their growing up is overshadowed by the death of Enitan's brother which drives her mother to a "white-garment" church where the priests perform rituals and speak what sounds to a young Enitan like gibberish. Sheri, growing up in a polygamous home faces her own troubles, negotiating her way through the world, her budding beauty, both blessing and curse.

Sefi Atta deftly and engagingly takes us through the lives of these two girls against a backdrop of political instability, military coups, and male chauvinism in an African society caught between Western and traditional values.

If you enjoy a good story, well told, or are interested in contemporary African writing, or the lives and friendships of

women, then you must get this book
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Format: Paperback
Despite the fact that I gave this book 5 stars, I can not say that I particularly liked it or that I will ever re-read it.

The Pros:

The book is extremely well written by someone who is obviously highly intelligent. Sefi Atta is in complete command of the English language and she owns her style. She is very perceptive, picking up on the delicate things in between. Also the book is littered with original nuggets of invaluable wisdom and quotable quotes. The author sounds like someone I would be honored to meet.

The Cons:

Everything Good Will Come should never have been novel. It would be more honest as either a political treatise of Nigeria or Sefi Atta's autobiography ( Royal College = Queen's College. I bet Sefi Atta attended high school there ). Her style is much too structured and inflexible to have been a novel. I wanted the author to relax a little and dance with her characters. I sometimes felt like I was suffocating while reading because she was doing the same thing she accused some of her characters of doing which was stereotyping and role assignment.
Her characters' lives were not set against the backdrop of the political socio-economy of the times. They served as props in her apparent satire and the environment, rather than her characters dominating the book. If I had a dollar for every time the author says 'in my country', 'in Lagos', 'in Nigeria' or 'in Africa', I could go on a modest shopping spree. I never emotionally connected with any of the characters. Being able to draw emotion from your reader, making them hate or like your characters takes a skill of nuance and Sefi is merely perceptive not nuanced. I was indifferent to all of her characters and that to me was the biggest flaw and surprise.
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Format: Hardcover
In Everything Good Will Come, Sefi Atta has crafted a beautiful and important novel. We follow the main character, Enitan, as she comes into her own power and joy under the brutal political and social climate in Lagos. This book brims with gorgeous and vivid detail; it reminds the reader how a single voice, claimed and raised, has the power to change the world.
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Format: Hardcover
In panoramic colors, Sefi Atta has writen a novel full of life and excitement. Innocent, jaded, happy, sad, amusing, serious, alive and pulsing with the many rhythms of the Lagos that we have grown to love-hate, this story is not just the story of Enitan and the many characters in the novel, it is the story of middle-class Lagosians of every assortment. It is fiction, it is real.

You will experience the odyssey that life in postcolonial Nigeria is for many. However, at the core of the novel is a tone that rings universal. Every reader, regardless of cultural background, will recognize familiar themes that will stir the heart and animate the soul!

The particular edition I read had many typos. I am guessing this was editorial carelessness on the part of the publishers. Thankfully the novel was so good that, overall, such flaws seemed inconsequent.

Excellent!!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wont rehash the book's content since that has been done already, but as I read this book (I just finished it today June 9, 2005), I could relate to it, the travails of the different characters and I identified with the pressure put on them by the expectations of the Nigerian society.

It made me step back a little and think about my similarity to the different characters at their different stages in life up till the closing moments of the book.

The author uses vivid imagery and yet leaves enough for the imagination. I would recommend this to anyone who loves to read about the Nigerian middle class experience.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ok, So it was hard to decide what rating to give this book because I enjoyed reading through it even though there was no particluar plot, that was fine for me because a life story doesnt always have a plot and in my opinion the story can do with out it. Now for me the language style lacked authenticity, I cant imagine Nigerians in Lagos speaking in witty vague and indirect quips as was constantly done in this story. Iguess its possible that the author is using her own literary style but it took away from the authenticity for me.
Also I dont know if Lagos is more liberal but I also cant imagine Nigerians raising children like Enitan who is rather confrontational with her parents, I do think its possible post her education overseas but not in early childhood but thats just my opinion.
So what did I like about this book? The story, it was a nice tale of 2 young girls growing up in Nigeria and there were many points where I could identify with one or more of the characters. This read was definitely not waste of time to read but left a bit to be desired, I wanted to give it 3.5 stars but I didnt have that option so I rounded up becuase I thought 3 stars would be to low.
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