Review of Cheluchi Onyemelukwe’s ‘The Son of the House’ by Tola Ijalusi

Review of Cheluchi Onyemelukwe's 'The Son of the House' by Tola Ijalusi
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Title: The Son of the House
Genre: Fiction
Author: Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onoubia
Publisher: Regium – Parresia Publishers
Year of Publication: 2019
Number of Pages: 283
ISBN: 978-978-55874-9-4
Reviewer: Tola Ijalusi

From the prologue of her book to the twenty-fourth chapter, there is a journey Cheluchi takes you through in every line, page of ‘The Son of the House’. A unique story that spreads across a timeline of a nation and brings you that satisfactory longing that you have read an absolute good and true story.


“We must do something to pass the time”

When you are in the den of kidnappers, there are struggles of survival and death that springs up every now and then in your heart, either ransom is on its way or not. But two women amidst grief and fear chose Storytelling. A book of epic storytellers.

The Son of the House is a story set in Nigeria and tells a lot about the city of Enugu. With Nwabulu and Julie as the main character, the author gives us a story that defines what African Literature is and a better way to tell African stories. Nwabulu is my favourite character. A fashion designer who had dreams but became pregnant. Though with many trials she became a woman of stature. The narrative of this book is exquisite, it brings a fresh understanding of the reality of the state such as insecurity and also harsh traditions such as marrying the dead. It is however written so beautiful for every eye to read and all ears to hear.

Nwabulu and Julie both have distinctive differences, but their stories are intertwined. A puzzle that got solved at the end of the book. The characterization and plot of the book have their own splendour, embodied with an incredible skill of making readers retain lasting impressions of every page of the book. The author also is deliberate about the diction of the book, her lucid use of Igbo words are commendable.

Cheluchi wrote candidly about sex and love. Cheluchi who is a lawyer must have used her experiences in the areas of health, gender, violence against women and children and other social issues in presenting her ideals progressively in this novel; this bids the debate of an undeniable touch of biography or autobiography.

The Son of the House has won prestigious awards since publication, such as the 2019 Sharjah International Book fair Best International Fiction Book Award. The Son of the House won the inaugural SPRINNG Women Author Prize. SPRINNG Women Author Prize is an initiative of SPRINNG Literary Movement and the first of it kind in Nigeria that rewards female writers. I commend SPRINNG for coming up with such an initiative.

Cheluchi Onyemelukwe – Onuobia with her debut novel “The Son of the House” has set the pace for every Nigerian female writer having written a beautiful gripping story that will live long in the hearts of all men. The book nomination for the NLNG Prize in Literature is well deserved and may Cheluchi achieve more success by winning this Prize and more

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