Dayo Forster — Reading the Ceiling (2015)

Setting: Modern Gambia & London

What it’s about: Three different iterations of one woman’s life: a successful international professional, a traditional wife, and a struggling single mother.

All three stories end incomplete and open-ended, in each case with the tragic death of her mother, with whom she endures strained relations.

“A life beginning has many paths before it; but older people — women like my mother — they can only see the path that brought their lives to the now.”

While the stories take her in different directions, the relationships she has with lovers and family members, dominate each one. Whether she embraces modernity or tradition, she faces the same struggle to establish independence and fulfilment.

Read it if you liked: Elena Ferrante.

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