Blessings (Hardback)
  • Blessings (Hardback)
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Blessings (Hardback)

(author)
£14.99
Hardback 256 Pages
Published: 22/02/2024
  • 10+ in stock

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Waterstones Says

Mining themes of love and loneliness, Ibeh's searing debut deftly moves between the perspectives of a teenage boy banished for forbidden love and the mother who struggles to understand and maintain a connection with him.

When Obiefuna's father witnesses an intimate moment between his teenage son and the family's apprentice, newly arrived from the nearby village, he banishes Obiefuna to a Christian boarding school marked by strict hierarchy and routine, devastating violence. Utterly alienated from the people he loves, Obiefuna begins a journey of self-discovery and blossoming desire, while his mother Uzoamaka grapples to hold onto her favourite son, her truest friend.

Interweaving the perspectives of Obiefuna and his mother Uzoamaka, as they reach towards a future that will hold them both, Blessings is an elegant and exquisitely moving story of love and loneliness. Asking how we can live freely when politics reaches into our hearts and lives, as well as deep into our consciousness, it is a stunning, searing debut.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780241618257
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 314 g
Dimensions: 204 x 138 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A sublime coming-of-age tale… an extraordinarily composed and deeply felt debut - Guardian

An excellent debut novel - John Boyne

Stark yet tender, balancing episodes of hope with episodes of gut-plummeting sadness, this is an accomplished novel, distinguished by sensitive prose and taut scene-making - Daily Mail

A magnificent debut… Ibeh has the ability to ensure his political positions inform, rather than overwhelm, the intimate dramas at the heart of his fiction. He’s vocal about the writers he admires – among them, Buchi Emecheta, Jhumpa Lahiri, Zadie Smith and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – and clearly ambitious. With writing this good, it’s to be hoped he’ll soon find his name among their ranks - Daily Telegraph

Blessings is the poignant tale of a talented and sensitive Nigerian boy, Obiefuna, who is caught by his conservative father in a clinch with another young gay man... an emotive, affecting debut - Observer

Blessings, the debut novel by the Nigerian author Chukwuebuka Ibeh, who was born in 2000, is a devastating account of a young queer man’s most formative years. Tender and enraging, it is a story about the brutality of Nigerian law, under which homosexuality remains illegal today. It is also a story about adolescent desire and the personal yet universal trickiness of working out who and how we are, and what we want. It marks the arrival of Chukwuebuka Ibeh as a significant new moral, literary talent - The i

Blessings is a stunning and exceptionally moving story of love, shame, redemption and fierce familial bonds... I’m grateful that this beautiful book exists, and I will return to it again and again as if for the first time - Francesca Ekwuyasi, author of BUTTER HONEY PIG BREAD

There is music to the way Chukwuebuka Ibeh writes. There is balance. Blessings pulled me into a world I’m extremely unfamiliar with, yet somehow made it comfortable, even resonant. The intimate storytelling, the powerful dialogue, and the well-paced narrative all made it one hell of a heartbreakingly joyous read. Each chapter of this debut novel enthralled me, pushing me to the next, eager to share the road with its unforgettable protagonist right up to the ending, which made me want to start from the beginning again. On top of it all, Ibeh has provided a meaningful representation of queer Nigerians—one that opens borders and breaks barriers. An opportunity for many not only to see what Obiefuna and his mother see, but also to feel what they feel. Run, don’t walk, to get this book. - Danny Ramadan, author of The Foghorn Echoes

A moving debut about love and loneliness - Sunday Times

As engaging as doorstoppers can be, there is an unparalleled pleasure in something short and searing. Chukwuebuka Ibeh’s debut is set in modern-day Nigeria, where the country’s criminalisation of same-sex marriage has created a hostile atmosphere for the LGBTQ+ population. After an intimate moment with the family apprentice, Obiefuna is sent to a Christian boarding school by his father. So begins a process of self-discovery. Blessings is told from Obiefuna and his mother’s perspective, a dynamic which has plenty of potential for the profound. - Esquire, The Biggest Books Landing on Your Reading List in 2024

Both a brutal and tender coming-of-age story, marking Ibeh as a major new literary voice. - The i

Wonderful, vivid - Patrick Gale

Wow – what a debut! I was left feeling heartbroken yet hopeful. Chukwuebuka Ibeh is a beautiful writer. - Taylor-Dior Rumble, author of THE SITUATIONSHIP

A tender, yet powerful story, poetic and wise. Ibeh draws such beautiful characters, and through their eyes, teaches us that love cannot be beaten or threatened from the human heart. From the first chapter, this book won't let you go. - AJ West

Chukwuebuka Ibeh's writing has a certain delicacy to it, so wonderfully observant, and so beautiful - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Blessings is as raw and heart-wrenching as it is beautiful and delicate. A masterfully executed story about love, faith and sexuality that clenches your heart and doesn’t let go until the very last page. Ibeh is a once in a lifetime talent! - Elvin James Mensah

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Hardback

“This is How You Do a Debut”

Never mind this being an incredible debut, this was an incredible book, full stop! This story was so beautiful and so gorgeously constructed. The dual POVs of Obiefuna and his mother were really well done and... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 5

“A Searing Debut”

An intimate and powerful coming-of-age novel. Obiefuna is banished to a Christian boarding school when his father witnesses him sharing an intimate moment with the family’s apprentice. The story unfolds from the... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 5

“Heartbreaking but important read”

For a small book this packs a punch!

Blessings tells the story of Obiefuna. When his father witnesses an intimate moment between his son and an apprentice, he sends Obiefuna off to a Christian boarding school... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 3

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