The beautiful thing about being a storyteller is having the unique power to create and bring to life characters that can speak to different people in different ways. Bolu Babalola tells beautiful love stories by reimagining popular tales and in many ways making these tales more relatable for this present generation. Every story shows that love is a powerful force.
According to the author, it was important to retell stories that have been steeped in patriarchal colourations with the women having little or no say in their choice of love. This is exemplified in Attem’s story. The author does justice in showing the woman as strong and capable of making her own decisions. She shows through Siya the incredible power that a woman can wield in positions of leadership: how much of a force for change she is.
Moreover, these women are not weak because of love but are stronger because of love. Hence, in the words of the popular musician, D’banj, ‘Don’t get it twisted, love is a beautiful thing.’ In love, a character like Yaa finds herself and finds who she is and wants through Adric’s undiluted love for her. She can be her real self. Love should do that and not make you fold into yourself. True love causes you to blossom. This is exemplified also in Zhinu’s story.
Love can heal and break down walls as seen in Thisbe’s story with Pyramus. Every character has a unique story. Even in sad stories like Scheherazade, themes like resilience, commitment and sacrifice give deeper meanings to what love truly is. Psyche’s story is another example of resilience and finding one’s voice. Whatever happens, shoot your shot.
Bolu Babalola did an incredible job and the fact that she crowned this collection with her own parents’ love story makes the book more special. Though one might find the stories too short because it gets so good, one doesn’t want it to end. The language is beautiful as it is elegant. A well-written book and is highly recommended!