Yetunde: An Ode to My mother

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...What could be very dry is actually entrancing...This isn't just a story, it's a look into Yoruba beliefs and folktales...

“The day mother dies is the day that gold goes bad”

Told from the point of view of a babe-in-arms, nine-month-old Yetunde, as her mother tells her of her grandmother, now sadly passed, and of the story of a mother in her Yoruba culture.

There are Yoruba words, but they are all translated early and English speakers can follow the story without any problems. By the time you get to the folktale, you can recognise the words and phrases even if you don’t speak the language. This isn’t just a story, it’s a look into Yoruba beliefs and folktales, and an exploration of the role of mothers in life and culture.

What could be very dry is actually entrancing, with most of the book taken up by a folktale that is retold here smoothly. Sadly not all parents are as loving or good as the ones shown in this book, but at the same time it is an inspiration for how things should be.

People who liked this folktale should look up the author’s other work including “Yetunde, the life and times of a Yoruba girl in London”. Her website also has flashcards to help people who want to learn the Yoruba language.

Rating: 4
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rz3300 (8 October 2016)
I am not too sure what to make of this one. It sounds like it is more than a story, which is intriguing to hear. I cannot say that I know much of anything about Yoruba beliefs, so this should be an interesting read.

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