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Yetunde: An Ode to My mother Kindle Edition
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I love the baby understanding, even before she learns to walk. While improbable, we are charmed into suspending disbelief so we can taste the sweetness of the story. We are learning as Yotunda learns, about the greatness of mothers in the Yoruba culture from Nigeria. Yetunda's mother shares a poem and a traditional story, illustrating the importance of mothers.
But where is the rest of the story? There is none. Instead, just as we expect some drama, we collide with 'To be continued'. There is no ending. There is no cliff hanger.
Rather than a fiction story, this is a small textbook that is incomplete. It is told from the baby's point of view because the baby symbolizes the pupil, open to instruction, devoted to the teacher. Her teacher is wise, blessing her pupil with lessons of love, honor, and understanding.
Since this is an instruction manual, the chapters should be called lessons. There should be more than three, and this little textbook should not end, to be continued. Rather, it can be called volume I, to be followed by other volumes. It should have a glossary of terms.
As it stands now, it's like paying for a feast and getting appetizers. It's like a spoon of honey without the bread. Yes, it is sweet; it is interesting. It could be much more.
Yetunde: An Ode to My Mother is a narration of the natural interaction between a nine-month old baby, Yetunde, and her mother. It doesn't follow an orderly plot, but rather highlights the poignant moments- the sadness, kisses, tears, smiles, hugs and cuddles. It draws the reader into the peculiar world of a baby who understands all around her but cannot speak as yet. What makes it beautiful is the evident love between mother and child and the so many ways love is expressed between two people in the absence of a common language.
Yetunde’s mother misses her own mother. And she tries to tell her child how important a mother is. She teaches her about identity and her African origins. Along the way, the reader gets to appreciate Yoruba words and culture. The poetry is beautiful, though it exalts the mother above the father in a harsh way. “Mother is gold, father is glass”. Ha!
I love the inclusion of folktale – a bedtime story. But the end is so abrupt I am not prepared when it comes, especially when we are just expecting an addition to the characters in the story.
Want a short interesting read about a foreign place and yet something that you can identify with –grab this short read.
Poetic and heart-wrenching Yetunde's mother recounts stories of life, some of it mystical other parts a picture into the life of a Nigerian woman. In this manner she will be able to keep both traditions and the family history alive.
Her tale relates the rich culture of her homeland. It strengthens the bond of mother to daughter, ingraining the spiritual importance of motherhood, all while reflecting the traditions of the homeland. Some of the story is brutal, some of it sad, but the comfort of the oral traditions bring solace to the soul. The traditions bind them by reminding both mother and daughter of the roots that anchor them to each other as well to the next generation.
Yetunde is a meditation on the importance, love, and dedication of mothers. It is told from the perspective of Yetunde, an infant seeing her mother as the sort of goddess all young children see their mothers as. It begins with Yetunde listening to her mother and being playful together. The heart of the story is actually a story-within-a-story, the Yoruba tale of Iya Labake. It tells of a mother who lost 9 of her 10 children to death, and the remaining one is taken as an unwilling wife by a warrior from a neighboring tribe. This woe-stricken mother gains powers (reminiscent of an NK Jemisin heroine) to rescue her daughter despite the odds.
Yetunde is a quick, heartwarming read. Despite its brief length (about 30 pages), it seems a bit scattered - there are bits of info that don't seem key to the narrative, and the last chapter throws in the Yoruba alphabet and ends with a cliffhanger. It would actually work better as either a slightly shorter story, or a more fleshed out one with an actual plot.
The author uses the book not only to honor and praise all mothers but also bring backs her African roots, and for a person who comes from a great-grandma brought as a slave from Africa, this book touches my heart.
This book is the proof that you don't need 500 pages to create emotions or make your reader feel something. In less than 30 pages your heart will be touched.
Most recent customer reviews
By: Segilola Salami
Yetunde is a young toddler being taught about the world by her Mama.Read more
Yetunde's mother is mourning the death of her own mother and she does so by telling little Yetunde...Read more