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On Black Sisters Street
On Black Sisters Street: A Novel | Chika Unigwe
8 posts | 11 read | 16 to read
On Black Sisters Street tells the haunting story of four very different women who have left their African homeland for the riches of Europe—and who are thrown together by bad luck and big dreams into a sisterhood that will change their lives. Each night, Sisi, Ama, Efe, and Joyce stand in the windows of Antwerp’s red-light district, promising to make men’s desires come true—if only for half an hour. Pledged to the fierce Madam and a mysterious pimp named Dele, the girls share an apartment but little else—they keep their heads down, knowing that one step out of line could cost them a week’s wages. They open their bodies to strangers but their hearts to no one, each focused on earning enough to get herself free, to send money home or save up for her own future. Then, suddenly, a murder shatters the still surface of their lives. Drawn together by tragedy and the loss of one of their own, the women realize that they must choose between their secrets and their safety. As they begin to tell their stories, their confessions reveal the face in Efe’s hidden photograph, Ama’s lifelong search for a father, Joyce’s true name, and Sisi’s deepest secrets—-and all their tales of fear, displacement, and love, concluding in a chance meeting with a handsome, sinister stranger. On Black Sisters Street marks the U.S. publication debut of Chika Unigwe, a brilliant new writer and a standout voice among contemporary African authors. Raw, vivid, unforgettable, and inspired by a powerful oral storytelling tradition, this novel illuminates the dream of the West—and that dream’s illusion and annihilation—as seen through African eyes. It is a story of courage, unity, and hope, of women’s friendships and of bonds that, once forged, cannot be broken. From the Hardcover edition.
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Soubhiville
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My first impression of this book was that the four main characters, prostitutes in Antwerp, moved there from Nigeria, had all chosen that life of their own free will. Reading deeper into each woman‘s story, it became clear that was not the case for most of them.

Obviously sad, and full of triggers, I still enjoyed getting to know these four ladies.

Chosen for #LetterU #LitsyAtoZ

ShyBookOwl I haven't read this book but I'm not sure free will is much of a factor for a lot of women in such scenarios. It's really quite upsetting. 1mo
Soubhiville @ShyBookOwl I think you‘re right. It‘s very upsetting. 1mo
74 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Soubhiville
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@Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @TheBookHippie
Is this what you intended these postcards for? Because this is pretty perfect! I might do this periodically 😊. #LitsyLove

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Great idea!! I love it, you‘re a genius! No, I was just playing around on vistaprint one night and made them! 🤣🤣 1mo
TheBookHippie Lol we shoulda saved those texts trying to figure that postcard thing 🤣🤣❤️🤣 1mo
LibrarianJen That‘s such a great idea! 1mo
55 likes3 comments
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Soubhiville
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I just love coming across interesting new-to-Me words while I‘m reading. This is a good one!

I wasn‘t sure how this book would be, I chose it entirely because I needed a #LetterU for #LitsyAtoZ authors. I‘m really enjoying it!

It‘s the story of 4 African women who move to Europe to try to improve the financial standing for themselves and in some cases for their families.

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Sbetter00

“Never give up if your heart and your head tell you are right. People can disappoint you, but your heart and your head will never. Make them your best friends”

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Damaris
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I desperately wanted to love it and I did,until halfway, as the story of 4 African women who find themselves in the red-light district of Antwerp is one that tugs at the heart. But when Chika attempts to tackle the Sudan Civil War and the resulting atrocities, her words soon lack the depth and emotion required, and you find yourself reading the story feeling very removed from the subject matter. Something a really great book should never do

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readtheworld
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Found one of my favorite novels in the library stacks the other day. Wish more people had heard of this one.

It follows four women from Nigeria who live and work in Antwerp's red light district. When one of them is brutally murdered, the other three begin to share their pasts with one another.

25 likes8 stack adds
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shawnmooney
On Black Sisters' Street | Chika Unigwe, Unigwe
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Another novelist from Nigeria...and how about THAT cover, boys and girls? What's in the waters of Nigeria that it, like Ireland, has produced so many fine writers? Can anyone point me to some well-thought-out essays or even scholarly writing about why certain parts of the world are so rich in literary talent compared to other parts? I'm quite fascinated by this...

DitrieMarieBowie If you find one, let me know! 2y
ReadingEnvy I've been trying to read a book from every country in Africa but I could read just as many from Nigeria. I have wondered the same!! 2y
38 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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Readerwhy
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One of the characters talks about prostitution: "I meet interesting people at work. In what other job do you earn money just for lying on your back?" Life is not black or white but thousand colours.