Cover Image: Forever There For You

Forever There For You

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Member Reviews

Really enjoyed this book. Steady paced, great characters, I was absorbed throughout. Will be reading more books by the author in the future!
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About a quarter of the way through this book, I had to go back to Netgalley to remind myself what it was supposed to be about. Halfway through, I did it again because nothing in the 'blurb' had even started to happen. The book is pitched as one about domestic abuse but 50+ per cent of the way into the book the protagonist still hasn't even met her husband to be. To say it's slow-moving is an enormous understatement. We're subjected to an incredibly detailed account of privileged 16-year old over-achieving Nigerian schoolgirl moving to a crammer in Oxford and then going to Bristol University to study law. 

I thought it must be a 'memoir'. I couldn't believe that anybody writing a novel (which this is supposed to be) would bother to pad the first half of her book with so much largely irrelevant scene-setting. At around 55% of the way in, things finally get moving and the abuse soon gets going.

For me, the first half of the book is scraping 2 stars. The second half is a 3 to 4. At times it's very inciteful, at others, it just seems to play to stereotypes about the treatment of Nigerian women. There's a lot of inter-tribal racism, some really catty family feuds and way too much pressure from family, church and community on Nadine to stay with her abusive husband.  I was unconvinced that a woman who would tell her mother what was happening would hide the abuse from her closest British friends. 

Once the book gets going, it's thought-provoking, asks many difficult questions, and reveals injustice and a lack of support from those who should have been 'Forever There for You', but on the whole, the book really needed an editor with a red pen to slice out about half of the first 50% of the book. The balance between way too much detail in places and barely any in others was rather uncomfortable. If I hadn't needed to finish it in order to review it, and if I hadn't known that EVENTUALLY the story had to kick in, I would have ditched this at about the 20% mark. There are good things to be said but in this case, it's a clear case that 'less is more' would have been a good principle to follow. 

I received a free copy from Netgalley in return for an honest review.
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