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Freshwater
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born with one foot on the other side. Unsettling, heartwrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of experiencing the world, one that illuminates how we all construct our identities. Ada begins her life in the south of Nigeria as a troubled baby and a source of deep concern to her family. Her parents, Saul and Saachi, successfully prayed her into existence, but as she grows into a volatile and splintered child, it becomes clear that something went terribly awry. When Ada comes of age and moves to America for college, the group of selves within her grows in power and agency. A traumatic assault leads to a crystallization of her alternate selves: As?ghara and Saint Vincent. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these selvesnow protective, now hedonisticmove into control, Adas life spirals in a dark and dangerous direction. Told from the perspective of the various selves within Ada, and closely based on the authors own personal experiences, Freshwater explores the metaphysics of identity and mental health, plunging the reader into the mystery of being and self. Freshwater dazzles with ferocious energy and serpentine grace, heralding the arrival of a fierce new literary voice.
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review
Hazel2019
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Bailedbailed

I actually ended up DNFing this one. I do love the author‘s writing style, it‘s beautiful and impactful, but the ideas in the book were so thoroughly described in Dear Senthuran (the author‘s recent memoir)I just couldn‘t get into Freshwater. I might come back to it, it just didn‘t feel like the right read for me right now.

#LMPBC @magyklyXdelish @collegecatlady @shadowspeak17

Kenyazero That's an interesting way to experience this book! I hadn't thought of the way an author talking about topics and themes in one work might impact the landing of another one of their works 🤔 3mo
shadowspeak17 Oh, bummer! I did wonder if they might be too similar. 3mo
70 likes2 comments
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collegecatlady
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Pickpick

This novel was STUNNING. This book made me feel seen as someone with OCD, autism, depression, and gender identity issues. I feel compassion and sisterhood with Ada. Reading this felt like a transformative experience and a spiritual one as well. Easily five stars.

#lmpbc #GroupS @magyklyXdelish @Hazel2019 @shadowspeak17

Megabooks This is on my TBR, but her memoir is fantastic. The more I reflect on it, the more impressed I am. It definitely brought up a lot of feelings in me. 4mo
61 likes1 comment
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julesG
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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It's autumn, or fall (whichever suits you best). I was doing pretty well with my #SceptreSummer #TBR, so I made an #AutumnTBR.

Here are the physical books I plan to read. The complete TBR list, including @DuckOfDoom and @Maike's, is on the blog: https://scepticalreading.com/2021/09/sceptre-autumn-reading-program/

#TeaAndBooks #BooksAndTea

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collegecatlady
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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I am dealing with some serious health issues very suddenly, so I am a bit behind in my consumption of the #lmpbc picks. I promise I‘m getting a move on @Hazel2019 @magyklyXdelish @shadowspeak17 #groupS

AmyG I hope you are well soon. 4mo
julesG Feel better soon! 4mo
slategreyskies Hope you feel better soon!! 💕 4mo
JessClark78 Hope you feel better soon. 4mo
shadowspeak17 Oh, don‘t worry too much about the book. I hope you get to feeling better soon! 4mo
49 likes5 comments
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Karmapen
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
Mehso-so

I wish there was an in-between rating, to match this story of a woman who is trapped between the world of flesh and gods. It was my second time reading about obganje, after Blood Honey Pig Bread, which was helpful context. The story was horrifying, the prose was stunning. I‘m not really sure what to walk away with.

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magyklyXdelish
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Pickpick

I really loved the writing in this book. The way Akwaeke told their story was so beautiful. I really have never read anything like it. Not in content or prose.

This was a great #LMPBC pick ♥️

33 likes2 comments
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magyklyXdelish
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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My goal is to finish this one today. Mr. Frank is my reading buddy this afternoon ♥️

aperfectmjk Hey you stole my cat! 6mo
Hazel2019 Such a cutie ☺️ 6mo
sharread So cute. 6mo
30 likes3 comments
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magyklyXdelish
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Starting August with an #LMPBC ♥️

This one has been on my TBR for a while so I‘m excited it was one of the picks 🤗

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jessjess
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Pickpick

This was a fascinating if sometimes horrifying story. It reads both quickly but also slowly because every other paragraph you have to take in and digest it. All the trigger warnings but it is an amazing take on identity and what it means to be a person, in both beauty and horror.

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shadowspeak17
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This book isn‘t very long, but it packs quite a punch. I really enjoyed the unique way it was told and the different ways you could think about what was happening. It‘s definitely a book I‘ll be thinking about for a while.

@magyklyXdelish I‘m planning to get this mailed by Monday. I‘ll let you know when it‘s on the way. 😊

#lmpbc #groups #catsoflitsy #Phoenix

Leftcoastzen 😻So cute! 6mo
shadowspeak17 @magyklyXdelish It‘s on the way! I just emailed you the tracking number. :) 6mo
47 likes1 stack add3 comments
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StellaDz
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Mehso-so

I will say that the premise of this novel is brilliant: telling the story of a ‘troubled‘ girl through the perspective of the spirits within her. I say troubled in quotation marks because you can really interpret it any way: mental health, sexual orientation, gender/non-binary. It is dark, troubling and violent. And while I can praise the method and presentation, at one point, it went flat and became one-note. I became numb to it.

⭐️⭐️⭐️

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johncadams
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Reggie Off topic, but not really, was all the track and field athletes who said it was God‘s plan for them to make the Olympic team. And then there was the one girl who made it but she graduated from Harvard and is now working on her grad studies in epidemiology and she said- I just had to believe in myself. 6mo
johncadams @Reggie Self belief comes from so many different sources, but however it develops it is always welcome! 6mo
37 likes1 stack add2 comments
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dainarmb
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Mehso-so

I can see why so many people say they DNF this book as they had no idea what was going on. Emezi is a talented writer but the style of this book is difficult to enjoy, imo. Especially when her story doesn't come together until you're already 2/3 done with the book! I will say, I thought it was a creative use of Nigerian lore as a lens to examine the painful struggle Ada, a nonbinary adolescent, was forced to endure.

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dainarmb
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Ughhh this book is not helping my anxieties 😭 #currentlyreading

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dainarmb
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Now that we're halfway through 2021, I thought 'd share an update on my Stronger Spine 2021 Reading Challenge! Currently working on #3.

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johncadams
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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“We are three spirits inserted into Ada when she was still in her mother's womb.“

My review of 'Freshwater' by Akwaeke Emezi is up on the John C Adams Reviews website now!

https://www.johncadamsreviews.com/single-post/john-c-adams-reviews-freshwater

#Freshwater #AkwaekeEmezi #African #Africa #Nigeria #nonbinary #Igbo #Tamil #writer #mentalillness #JohnCAdamsReviews #JohnCAdams #MondayMusings #Fiction #Book #Novel #Review #Reviews

37 likes1 stack add
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johncadams
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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33 likes1 stack add
review
RegineReads
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
This post contains spoilers
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Pickpick

Spoilers = Trigger warnings! The first five chapters are like diving face first into culture mixed with uncommon experience, and so it might be hard to get into. But once you let go of trying to fit this story into your world view, and accept the story as its own unique experience, it picks up. It sucks you in. Beautiful prose that swirls up from the page like art. Trigger warnings apply: Sexual Assault, self harm, disordered eating, suicide.

TheKidUpstairs Great review! I'm so intrigued... 9mo
RegineReads @TheKidUpstairs oh, yay! It's my first time reviewing, so it caught your eye :). If you give it a read, I would love to hear what you think! 9mo
RegineReads @TheKidUpstairs *so I'm glad it caught your eye 9mo
4 likes3 comments
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vlwelser
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Pickpick

This book made my head explode. But like in the best possible way. It's about feeling other. About not feeling like you have control over your own self. And about protecting yourself from life when you just can't deal. At least that's what I experienced. And the author reads her own #audiobook. 💜💜💜💜💜

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vlwelser
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Back to #audiowalking and I'm officially obsessed with this author who needs to write more books.

Hooked_on_books And I‘m obsessed with those gorgeous purple blossoms! 😍 9mo
44 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Addison_Reads
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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#OppositeDay @AlwaysBeenaLoverofBooks @TheKidUpstairs

When I read this, I expected it to be the #same as other books written in this genre, but I was wrong. Everything about this book is wonderfully different and in a class all its own.

TheKidUpstairs Stacked! 9mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Awesome collage 💛💛 9mo
40 likes1 stack add2 comments
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RegineReads
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Reading challenging (as of now, the writing is sweeping metaphors and similes in the context of an unfamiliar place and unfamiliat cultures - beautiful but definitely challenging) texts is always a bit of a messy affair for me...🤓

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RegineReads
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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My first #smartbrowngirl book club read! 💁🏾‍♀️

Nute Welcome to Litsy! It‘s a warm and friendly community. I know that you will enjoy yourself here. I‘m looking forward to getting to know you!🙂 8mo
RegineReads @Nute Thank you for such a warm welcome 💕 8mo
6 likes1 stack add2 comments
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MySharonaK
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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The wonderful @readordierachel has not only made my day, but my month ❤️ so excited and looking forward to starting this. Thank you Rachel 😘🙏

readordierachel Yay! I'm so glad it made it to you. Enjoy ❤ 10mo
82 likes2 comments
review
readordierachel
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Pickpick

Wow. This was unique, hypnotic, harrowing, moving. I wouldn't know where to begin describing it, so I'll just leave it at adjectives. I know this will be echoing in my mind for a while. Just truly stunning.

CW: sexual assault, self-harm, suicide

MySharonaK After reading how you feel about it, I just put on hold on my library‘s app. Thank you ❤️ 10mo
readordierachel @MySharonaK I hope you like it ❤ 10mo
Erinreadsthebooks One of my favorites 🙌 10mo
See All 17 Comments
MySharonaK @readordierachel thank you! 🌷 Sadly gonna have to wait until the end of May 😂 10mo
readordierachel @MySharonaK That's so long! I suppose that means it's in demand 😊 I'd be happy to send you this copy if you'd like to read it sooner? 10mo
MySharonaK @readordierachel wow you‘re so kind !!! 😍 10mo
Reggie This book was so hard to read. You just wanted Ada to be ok. Great review, Rachel. 10mo
batsy It's a brilliant book 💜 10mo
youneverarrived Agree. I still think about this 🖤 10mo
readordierachel @MySharonaK If you email me your address, I will pop it in the mail :) It's readordierachel at gmail. 10mo
readordierachel @Reggie @batsy @youneverarrived Knowing it's somewhat autobiographical makes it that much more emotional 💔 I read they have a memoir coming out in the near future 10mo
MySharonaK @readordierachel emailed you 💚 10mo
Addison_Reads I loved this book. I'm so glad you did too. 10mo
sarahbarnes This sounds amazing!! 10mo
readordierachel @sarahbarnes it is! Highly recommend! 10mo
83 likes2 stack adds17 comments
review
Lisebo
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Bailedbailed

It was a tough and confusing book, I found it hard to connect with all the “spirits” narrated by author. However, that‘s not the reason I bailed

I bailed because life happened, time froze....and death happened and my world was turned upside down🖤

Ps: I honestly don‘t even know where the book is

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Mynameisacolour
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Got this on kindle for $1.99 today! Happy that I didn't have to use my whole #pennyperpage budget but now I'm down to $7.87 Thankfully I'm off tomorrow and can hopefully add more to that.

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broughtyoubooks
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Pickpick

Last read of 2020. TW for sexual violence. I decided to check this out because it kept coming up in lists of queer books by POC, and it was a short audiobook. Well worth reading, and Akwaeke's narration is beautiful, and the imagery, especially of mental health, is incredible.

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swynn
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Pickpick

This book, y'all.

It's the story of a Nigerian girl occupied by multiple spirits, told mostly from the perspective of the spirits. A Western diagnosis would probably call it dissociative identity disorder, but the Igbo mythology is never questioned, and is sort of the point. And can Emezi write! It's fresh and gripping and at this moment my favorite read of 2020.

(TW for relationship violence, self harm)

#24B4Monday
@andrew65 @jb72 @SumisBooks

Andrew65 Great 👏👏👏 13mo
29 likes1 comment
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swynn
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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The first time our mother came for us, we screamed.

#firstlinefridays
@ShyBookOwl

Ruthiella That‘s a pretty great opening line! 13mo
25 likes1 comment
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crazyspine
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Pickpick

Difficult to describe this book. Beautiful magical realistic coming of age tale is the best thing I could think of right now, but the book defies genres. Added bonus the author is the narrator of the audiobook.

49 likes1 stack add
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underground_bks
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Pickpick

Freshwater is like no book I‘ve ever read. From a Western lens, Ada appears to suffer from multiple personality disorder, but Freshwater narrates her experience through traditional Igbo spirituality and the concept of the Ogbanjé, an evil spirit. Psychologically, sexually, and spiritually, Ada transcends definition, and this book is a wonderful reminder of all we don‘t know.

(On #petsandpagesmonday, I highlight an adoptable cat—this is Bagels!)

StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Bagles is beautiful 🤩 14mo
Leftcoastzen 😻sweet kitty! 14mo
Reggie Really great review! I liked this book a lot. It was painful though. 14mo
See All 10 Comments
Nebklvr Pretty kitty 14mo
underground_bks @Reggie it was an intense read for sure and skewed my reality a bit 14mo
underground_bks @StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego this was just my third time going to the shelter but so far we have a 100% adoption rate of featured cats! 14mo
underground_bks @Leftcoastzen one of the biggest perks of my job! 14mo
underground_bks @Nebklvr she sure is! 14mo
batsy One of those books that just go straight into you and opens you up. Really good and utterly memorable. Nice review! 14mo
underground_bks @batsy yes exactly! Thank you so much—this one was hard to review and I wanted so much to do it justice! 14mo
33 likes2 stack adds10 comments
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BarbaraJean
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Pickpick

Freshwater is such a difficult book to describe. As an exploration of a fractured self, it‘s fascinating and heartbreaking and disorienting. The main character barely has a voice, as she is pushed to the side by her inhabiting spirits, or ogbanje. Emezi describes these various selves using Nigerian mythology, and it‘s left up to the reader to decide whether it‘s magical realism or mental illness, or the latter described in mythological terms.⤵️

BarbaraJean The book is a unique exploration of trauma and the divided self--difficult to read, difficult to describe, but definitely worthwhile.

This article was a helpful companion to the book, as it describes the author's own experiences being caught between expectations and (gender) identities, using the terms of the ogbanje. https://www.thecut.com/2018/01/writer-and-artist-akwaeke-emezi-gender-transition...
(edited) 1y
batsy Lovely review. I was deeply moved by this book. 1y
48 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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cookie21
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
Bailedbailed

Oh my goodness! I did not expect a story told by spirits taking over a girl. I was very disappointed. It wasn't interesting, it was just evil!

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BarbaraJean
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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My county library system is currently doing sidewalk service. They bring your books out in a brown paper bag stapled shut, and there‘s always a little message written on it: “Enjoy!” “Have a great day!” “Happy reading!” It‘s so sweet. Today was my biggest sidewalk service #LibraryHaul yet. The weight of it tore open the bag when I went to carry it in from the car.😬 One is a cookbook and one is for my husband, so only three really count, right?!

Texreader Awesome! That‘s how our new local bookstore is handling it. We drive up and call and they place our bag o‘ books in a paper bag on a table on the sidewalk. 1y
MommyWantsToReadHerBook The tagged book sounds really interesting! 1y
Sace I just used our library pick up for the first time yesterday. They do the same...but in a plastic bag with no happy note. I'm jealous! 1y
56 likes3 comments
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Well-ReadNeck
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Pickpick

Amazing writing. A book unlike anything I‘ve read before. ⚠️ All the trigger warnings (seriously)

A woman born inhabited by spirits with new ones birthed with every trauma. Raw, fierce, heartbreaking.

cleoh I finished this recently and absolutely adored it! 1y
94 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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cleoh
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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I‘m reading inside instead of outside in my backyard today to avoid the sun and the heat, but I‘m hoping by this evening it will have cooled enough for me to be outside. I‘ve heard mixed things about this title, but it sounds intriguing so I‘m interested to see how I like it.

#awesomeaugust

73 likes1 stack add
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B00SEGUMPS
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Mehso-so

CW: sexual trauma, abusive relationships, self-harm, hospitalization, physical and sexual child abuse, substance abuse.

Freshwater was a hard slice of life novel representing the intricacies of identity and thought and religion, while also intertwining with topics of inner gods and other-selves.

This book picks up and shines brighter in its last half when we are finally able to see Ada vocalize her thoughts on what's happening to her!

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TaraTLK
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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The audio is read by the author which I enjoyed. This book is fascinating. Not an easy read but the prose is amazing. Story of someone inhabited with obanje who start vying for control after a violent incident.
Content note: sexual assault, self harm, disordered eating.

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BookmarksTheSpot
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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This has been a very fascinating read so far. I love the idea of how our minds and souls and lives are created. I love thinking that there isn‘t one true answer and anything is really possible when it comes to why and how we are here.

8 likes1 stack add
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rachelsbrittain
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Pickpick

A woman born with the spirits of goes hosted in her body navigates trauma & relationships both within herself & without as she moves through life. A really interesting read. Think I would've absorbed it a little better in print rather than audio but the narrator was very good nonetheless. Some of Ada's experiences seemed similar to Dissociative Identity Disorder though it is never categorized that way. Lots of discussions of trauma so be careful.

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rachelsbrittain
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Had fun doing some audio gardening this afternoon

ChasingOm That looks amazing! 2y
LiteraryinLawrence That looks like it should be in a magazine! 2y
Erinreadsthebooks I love that book!👏 2y
See All 6 Comments
Hooked_on_books So cool! 2y
rachelsbrittain @Erinreadsthebooks I loved Pet and this kne has been on my TBR for ages. Really loving it so far! 2y
60 likes3 stack adds6 comments
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Karkar
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi

“We understood what was necessary-humans often fail at listening, as if their stubbornness will convince the truth to change, as if they have that kind of power.”

41 likes1 stack add
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Karkar
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Hang out with the girls today- it is my Friday I am excited to get back to this one. I can see how not everyone would like it. The writing is different, but it intrigues me. #schnauzersoflitsy

wanderinglynn What cuties! ❤️🐶 2y
BookNAround Look how pretty the girls are! Freshly groomed? 2y
Karkar @wanderinglynn thank you! 2y
Karkar @BookNAround yes! The smell and look so much better. 😃🐾❤️🐾 2y
50 likes4 comments
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Kenyazero
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this book, though it wasn't a pick for me it's far from so-so. It's a heavy book that explores metaphysical existence through a human named Ada who has multiple godselves living inside her. The story reads like disassociation after one of the godselves comes into being to protect the Ada after trauma. This will be difficult for survivors of sexual abuse/assault or anyone touched by suicide. #lgbtqauthors #lgbtq #trauma

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Addison_Reads
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Pickpick

To be honest, I am not entirely sure how to review this book. It is probably the most creative piece of literature I have ever read. The writing is absolutely gorgeous and the concept is unique and thought provoking.

I loved this one if for no other reason than I'm in awe at the author's ability to bring us such a raw, compelling story that is unlike anything ever written before. 💚

readordierachel Love this review. Excited to read this one! 2y
51 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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Karkar
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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So excited the first book from my blackout the bestseller list purchase came in today. Think I am going to drive right in! I may or may not have spent waayyyy more than I meant too. 🤣😍📚