everything

Set in the city of Lagos, Nigeria, Everything good will come is an account of Enitan, an only child of a Lawyer father and a fanatic mother who turned to religion as a means of escape instead of dealing with her marital problems. Enitan was a spoilt child who lived a sheltered life and was only exposed to another perspective of the world because of her friendship with Sheri. Sheri was a vivacious and quite daring girl from a polygamous home. She was also the first in her family and therefore had quite a big shoe to fill when her father died and she had to work with her stepmothers in order to keep the family together.

Enitan’s parents had to get a divorce and this put a strain on her relationship with her mother because she loved her father more and her mother was always trying to put her in-between their quarrels.

Enitan had her University education out of the country and on coming back to Nigeria already had a readymade job waiting for her in her father’s firm. In this vein Enitan was portrayed as a girl that never really had to bother her head about many things. When Sheri was trying to make ends meet by allowing herself be a kept woman and when she later started her own catering business Enitan was living the charmed life.

She was a strong willed woman who was of the opinion that men were domineering, self centered, overbearing and expected women to be submissive, attentive and perform all what they are supposed to regardless of their feelings and that the society expected the same of you. This put a big strain in her marriage because she refused to be subjected the role of the quiet, submissive wife who wouldn’t dare argue with her husband’s decisions. On an occasion when her father was arrested because he dared to speak against the government and people came to sympathize with her, she was totally aghast when her mother in law expected her to still entertain the guests because according to her she was the one in grief and she could not be expected to entertain.

The two daring decisions she made in this book that at least showed her in a different light apart from the spoilt brat that she really is was when she decided to join forces with other women in speaking out against the government while she was pregnant and which her husband clearly forbade her to do, and also eventually leaving her husband just after she gave birth because of this same reason of her husband’s forbidding her to do what she wanted to do.

Sefi Atta in this book left the choice in the hands of the women, whether she wants to be the submissive wife and mother that our mother’s taught us to be or whether she wants to be the modern contemporary woman who would do whatever it takes to pursue her dreams not minding if her marriage has to suffer the consequences.

As much as I would say I love this daringness, I’ll also say that the picture she painted could only exist in books at least as far as African women are concerned.

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