I was unsure at first, but this author’s writing was just amazing – she does not waste one word. The author tackled a subject unknown to me – ritual servitude (a practice in Ghana, Togo, and Benin whereby traditional religious shrines take human beings, usually young virgin girls, in payment for services or in religious atonement for alleged misdeeds of a family member – Wikipedia). Although outlawed in 1998, this dreadful practice still goes on in an area in Ghana. The author fictionalises the area, but we know this is Ghana, but the point is this is still happening in the 21st century!
This book really moved me and I really felt for the main character, Abeo, and her father who had a series of bad luck. The Western world probably question why a father would do this – take his small innocent virgin daughter and put her in this position to atone for his wrong doings?
The author takes you on a journey that is quite shocking, warts and all, but there is no way of dampening down this story.
I read the book in one sitting and found I wanted to keep reading to end – it also makes the reader realise sadly we do not know what is round the corner.
Published by London based Jacaranda books who represent culture and diversity.
Jane Brown 5/4
Praise Song for the Butterflies by Bernice L. McFadden
Jacaranda 9781909762886 hbk Jan 2019