[Currently Reading] Reading the Ceiling by Dayo Foster

Reading the Ceiling by Dayo Foster Book Cover

Back in February I participated in the #BlackGirlBookstaTour and I shared several titles by Gambian writers. I've been reading one of the titles I highlighted and I have so many feels yall!

The story itself is about a young girl who has grown up with her single mother (her abusive father passed when they were younger) constantly telling her and her sisters to safeguard their sexuality and how men only want sex, blah blah. Ayodele is tired of it and decides on her 18th birthday to choose one of three men to give her virginity.

Now, here's where Foster does something interesting in her storytelling! We get to see each of Ayodele's choices and the consequences of that choice on her life.

While I think the storyline is interesting, something about the writing/language isn't compelling for me. Part of that might be my own expectation of western standard English.

More importantly, this book is giving me representation I've been wanting my whole life. It's so authentically Gambian. I relate so much to the culture being represented. Though I was born in America, so there are some things I cannot connect with, I see my mom in the moms in this story; my dad in the fathers.

When I hit 60% and saw my NAME, exactly as I spell it, on the page . . . I almost cried on the M101 bus on my way to work. It was such a powerful feeling to be so seen. I have NEVER seen my name in or on anything! (Even though I check the silly name keychain racks at tourist shops every time I travel.)

So, even though the story isn't one I love, I love this book for what it gave me. Validity.

Have any books made you feel this way recently? Chat with me in the comments.

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