Olukemi Amala


Two babies are born five minutes apart in a UK hospital.

Immersed in her rich Nigerian heritage, Yewande grows up able to hear her ancestors’ voices – a double edged sword that heightens her spiritual awareness, but alienates her sister and brings horrifying revelations about her family’s past. Mary is rejected at birth by her mother who has abandoned her African roots as she tries to blend into a small town in suburban Britain.

How will each girl survive these legacies on her journey to adulthood?

A big, important novel leavened with fun and studded with episodes of astonishing beauty.

A rare and compelling novel…(Omala’s) writing is lush and poetic, conveying the richness of the land of her foremothers and fathers.
— Dr. Harbrinder Dhillon-Stevens

This book is no longer available to purchase from Linen Press.

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About this book

Two black African babies are born on the same day in a hospital in a small town in the UK. The narrator follows their lives and destinies as they grow into young women, one with strong Nigerian roots and one with a mother who has adopted the worst of British beliefs and behaviour. Yewande discovers she possesses the heightened awareness of her ancestors which leads to wisdom, heartache and joy. This is a challenging book that tackles issues of abuse and self-esteem, racism and roots. Olukemi Amala writes with style and originality with passages of breath-taking magical realism. A big book in every sense of the word.

About the author

UK-born Nigerian writer Olukemi Amala lives in Scotland. She defines herself as a critical thinker and writer who occupies a space on the margins of life.


“Took me to places of mystery, self enquiry, tears and much laughter. A thinking woman’s novel with the light touch of literary magic.”
— Glasgow Women’s Library
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“Filled with Nigerian dialect and street talk…(the) story moved me to tears of both sadness and delight.”
— The F Word
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“A rare and compelling novel…This remarkable book tells of the past, of present adaptations, of old and new attitudes towards issues of oppression and power.”
— Dr. Harbrinder Dhillon-Stevens, Lecturer, Psychotherapist, Writer