Freshwater

Freshwater

Akwaeke Emezi / Aug 19, 2019

Freshwater A National Book Foundation Under HonoreeShortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize One of the most anticipated and best reviewed novels of Freshwater is the remarkable

  • Title: Freshwater
  • Author: Akwaeke Emezi
  • ISBN: Freshwater
  • ISBN
  • Page: 247
  • Format: Paperback
  • A National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 HonoreeShortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize One of the most anticipated and best reviewed novels of 2018, Freshwater is the remarkable debut of an astonishing young writer.Ada has always been unusual As an infant in southern Nigeria, she is a source of deep concern to her family Her parents successfully prayed h A National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 HonoreeShortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize One of the most anticipated and best reviewed novels of 2018, Freshwater is the remarkable debut of an astonishing young writer.Ada has always been unusual As an infant in southern Nigeria, she is a source of deep concern to her family Her parents successfully prayed her into existence, but something must have gone awry, as the young Ada becomes a troubled child, prone to violent fits of anger and grief Born with one foot on the other side, she begins to develop separate selves When Ada travels to America for college, a traumatic event crystallizes the selves into something powerful As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these alters now protective, now hedonistic move into control, Ada s life spirals in a dangerous direction Unsettling, heart wrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater dazzles with ferocious energy and serpentine grace, heralding the arrival of a fierce new literary voice Get A Copy Kindle Store StoresAudibleBarnes NobleWalmart eBooksApple BooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryIndigoAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Paperback, 240 pages Published December 18th 2018 by Grove Press first published February 13th 2018 More Details Original Title Freshwater ISBN 0802128998 ISBN13 9780802128997 Literary Awards Aspen Words Literary Prize Nominee for Longlist 2019 Other Editions 15 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about Freshwater, please sign up Popular Answered Questions What is an ogbanje I am only 40 pages in and am confused as to what has actually happened to Ada on page 19 it saysThe air cracked and we remembered It was the sound ofo ur brothersisters, the children ofo ur mother, the ones who had not come across with us Ndi otu Ogbanje So are they themselves ogbanje The things inside Ada How did they get there 1 likelike 10 months ago Add your answer Sally Whit think of the ogbanje as like bad spirits I don t know if evil is the correct termshe s not posessed in the christian sense of how most people think of the ogbanje as like bad spirits I don t know if evil is the correct termshe s not posessed in the christian sense of how most people think.but I d like to think of the ogbanje as dark aspects of her personality that are working to protect the innocent good pure version of Ada Farther along in the book they explain how they got there or what they are doing wrong and a bit about these promises they ve made It seems that there was some error with how the gates workedwhen they were incarnated they forgot to close some aspect of the gates so they really understood that they weren t just Ada herself that s my take on it But in all, the reader is never clued in to what the gates mean less flag Is this anything like the famished road The summary sounds similar, but Im hoping the style is different 1 likelike one year ago Add your answer Uche Ogbuji I haven t read this, and I m hoping the same as you, because even as a Nigerian, I found The Famished Road a frustrating read If you d like a novel I haven t read this, and I m hoping the same as you, because even as a Nigerian, I found The Famished Road a frustrating read If you d like a novel with a much digestible take related to the Ogbanje mythos while you wait on Freshwater, I highly recommend Helen Oyeyemi s The Icarus Girl less flag See all 4 questions about Freshwater Lists with This Book This book is not yet featured on Listopia Add this book to your favorite list Community Reviews Showing 1 30 Rating details Sort Default Filter Dec 27, 2017 Elyse Walters rated it it was amazing review of another edition When I got the depths of this novel, here during these dark hours, I was blown away My eyes were misty at the end.It s absolutely the most brilliant creative book written of its kind.It became personal to me.looking back at my own journey my own struggles my own fight my own growth my own inner peace.At one point I kept thinking, No wonder it s soooo hard for people to get well No wonder people repeat the same repetitive unwanted behaviors for years.I don t usually write revie When I got the depths of this novel, here during these dark hours, I was blown away My eyes were misty at the end.It s absolutely the most brilliant creative book written of its kind.It became personal to me.looking back at my own journey my own struggles my own fight my own growth my own inner peace.At one point I kept thinking, No wonder it s soooo hard for people to get well No wonder people repeat the same repetitive unwanted behaviors for years.I don t usually write reviews on my iPhone from bed I m usually not this vague about the story either But honestly it s best to TAKE THIS BOOK INad each word digest it Its possible to read this novel in different ways Many ways to experience it For me I related it to our little voices in our heads that little voice which always speaks to us The critical voice the happy voice too I thought about the deeper evil spirits the personality splits.I loved the metaphysical storytelling At times it felt contemporary as any other novel ha Parents family struggles coming of age interests education travel sex friends butIS IS NOT like ANY BOOK I ve ever read It took me about 8% to understand what I was reading what was going onIt took me almost half way to get the DEPTS AND POWER of this novelAnd then the ending OH MY GOSH s soooo beautiful It still wants to make me cry Freshwater is FRESH Sooooooooo GORGEOUSLY written.It allowed me to distant myself FROM myself and be incredibly thankful that I have made remarkable growth in the area of healing in my lifetime This is one of the most unique and symbolic transforming books I ve ever read Thank you Grove Atlantic, Netgalley, and the brilliant author Akwaeke Emezi flag 202 likesLike see review View all 39 comments Feb 10, 2018 Navidad Th lamour rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves netgalley, coming of age, contemporary fiction, cultural surveys, full review, lit fic, magical realism, mental illness, pad culture reviews, read 2018 It s not easy to persuade a human to end their life they re very attached to it, even when it makes them miserable, and Ada was no different But it s not the decision to cross back that s difficult it s the crossing itself.Akwaeke Emezi s Freshwater is a novel of layers that do not always nicely overlap in fact, the pieces often seem to not fit together at all It is a novel born from trauma and emotional paroxysms, a read that erupts with them throughout You have to peel back the layers t It s not easy to persuade a human to end their life they re very attached to it, even when it makes them miserable, and Ada was no different But it s not the decision to cross back that s difficult it s the crossing itself.Akwaeke Emezi s Freshwater is a novel of layers that do not always nicely overlap in fact, the pieces often seem to not fit together at all It is a novel born from trauma and emotional paroxysms, a read that erupts with them throughout You have to peel back the layers to get to what Emezi has laid underneath, to find the gems, to find the hidden well of pain and sentiment offered here, and that may not be a satisfying journey for many readers Freshwater is the story of Ada, a young Nigerian woman with a fractured self, or multiple personalities, due to the gods who have mistakenly taken root in her body and mind It is a dark novel portraying the malevolence within us that darkness at the very deepest depths of us that we hope to never have to witness of ourselves or in others It is a novel that portrays the psychological effects of such darkness and emotional violence When Ada comes into adulthood and leaves her splintered home for a new existence in a Virginia college, a traumatic sexual experience further shatters her mind and her multiple personalities are born Ada fights a battle between herself, her other selves and her God she left behind, a battle to regain her equilibrium that veers her onto a dangerous course of self destructive behavior A path of bloodshed, tears and an equal dose of sexual trauma and exploration Ada fights with herself, realizing something is wrong She wants a change but her other personalities refuse to let her go Let me tell you now, I loved her because in the moment of her devastation, the moment she lost her mind, that girl reached for me so hard that she went completely mad, and I loved her because when I flooded through, she spread herself open and took me in without hesitation, bawling and broken, she absorbed me fiercely, all the way she denied me nothing I loved her because she gave me a name. Freshwater was a novel that took a lot of patience for me to read If you re a reader who clings to continuity, who needs progressive character development to follow the path a protagonist s life, or a reader who is in the least bit squeamish, this will likely prove to be a difficult read for you Not an unworthy read but a difficult one The narrative leapt back and forth in time with new personalities and overlapping stories already told being retold differently This book was a collage, a kaleidoscope, a reflection of a splintered self Given the subject matter, the shattered quality of the narrative is understandable but at times arduous to read.It was hard for me to fully connect with Freshwater when the moments of truth, heartbreak and the demise of entire relationships in Ada s life were narrated, not fully shown in action Emezi s debut novel is about the relationship between Ada and her other selves internally than it is about her outward experiences in the world view spoiler For example, though we follow her through college and beyond, I have no idea what career she worked or if she even held a job at all There was little to no mention of these small intricacies that paint a broader picture of the narrative for the reader This was not always a convincing examination or an immersive portrayal of the events in Ada s life Whole story lines just ended, never to be resolved hide spoiler It wasn t enough for me, though some parts of the novel were absolutely gripping, and there were some lovely lines scattered throughout He wanted to pretend he was somehow better than he knew he was he wasn t ready to throw himself into sin Humans find it easier to just lie and lie to themselves.However, in those neglected moments which is probably why the book is relatively short the novel loses its soul and misses opportunities.Other qualms The quote headings at the start of each chapter made no sense to me in the context of the story Often, they made no sense to me at all though I got the feeling that they were Nigerian sayings And I had too many WTF moments here because of the haphazard way life events and realizations were thrown into the narrative, no build up, just dumped I found myself reading whole passages and thinking, Where did this come from outta thin air That was the main issue I had with this novel there was no real character development aside from Ada and Ewan, just a series of narrations and events I also never understood the title of the book There was a reference to it at the end of the novel, but I found it to be too cryptic and unclear, so I still have no idea what it was trying to convey, why it was the namesake of the book Because of this, I had the noteworthy experience of loving and hating Freshwater There were moments where I couldn t wait to turn the page and others where I skimmed past the incoherence of the We Because of that, Freshwater s dazzling and dreadful moments condensed down into a grade of 3 stars overall I received an advance read copy of the book from the publisher, Grove Press, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.The Navi Review Twitter Instagram flag 124 likesLike see review View all 20 comments Jun 27, 2017 Hannah rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves arc, literary fiction, loved it This was absolutely stunning From the very first page I knew I was in for something extraordinary and unlike anything I have ever read This debut combines many things I adore in books unconventional framing and unreliable narrators, a story that gets recontextualized constantly and kept me on my toes, a basis in mythology that informed but did not over shadow the actual story, perfect sentence structure that packs an unbelievable punch, and so many things that I am still struggling to ad This was absolutely stunning From the very first page I knew I was in for something extraordinary and unlike anything I have ever read This debut combines many things I adore in books unconventional framing and unreliable narrators, a story that gets recontextualized constantly and kept me on my toes, a basis in mythology that informed but did not over shadow the actual story, perfect sentence structure that packs an unbelievable punch, and so many things that I am still struggling to adequately talk about.This is Ada s story, or accurately Ada s and her other personalities story The first part is told in a we perspective from her alternate personalities, brothersisters based in Nigerian mythology, that frame her story in what that means to them rather than her The Ada, as she is called by them, then moves to the US where a traumatic events leads to a further fragmentation of self, As ghara and Saint Vincent who will take over and These two selves are even different to her than the brothersisters were and tend to wreck havoc in her life This description does not really do the book any justice because than a straightforward narrative, the story unfolds forward and backwards with things happening or not and is highly introspective As I was wondering about the timeline, Akwaeke Emezi pulled the rug under me often than I could count, leaving my head spinning and my heart broken.I do not think I can do this book justice, but believe me when I say that this is an extraordinary achievement and unlike anything I read before This will for sure stay with me and keep me thinking for months to come._________I received an arc of this book courtesy of NetGalley and Grove Press in exchange for an honest review You can find this review and other thoughts on my blog flag 97 likesLike see review View all 10 comments Jul 21, 2017 PattyMacDotComma rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves africa, fiction adult, kindle, calibre, fantasy folk fairy super, favourites adult, arc netgalley read 5 DEBUT DedicationTo those of uswith one footon the other side By the time she our body struggled out into the world, slick and louder than a village of storms, the gates were left open We should have been anchored in her by then, asleep inside her membranes and synched with her mind That would have been the safest way But since the gates were open, not closed against remembrance, we became confused We were at once old and newborn We were her and yet not We were not conscious but 5 DEBUT DedicationTo those of uswith one footon the other side By the time she our body struggled out into the world, slick and louder than a village of storms, the gates were left open We should have been anchored in her by then, asleep inside her membranes and synched with her mind That would have been the safest way But since the gates were open, not closed against remembrance, we became confused We were at once old and newborn We were her and yet not We were not conscious but we were alive in fact, the main problem was that we were a distinct WE instead of being fully and just HER Outstanding, mesmerising, poetically macabre and believably unbelievable The Ada , as her captive spirits refer to her, is never alone Her constant mental companions are spirits which should have been able to possess and influence her and then come and go at will, through the gates, across the bridge But not these mischievous, evil beings The gods closed the gates behind them, so they lead The Ada into all sorts of trouble, both in Nigeria where she was born, and which has a tradition of ogbanje possessing children, and in the US when her family migrates.The ogbanje are reminiscent of the scary faeries at the bottom of the garden Ireland s Little People who steal children and some adults and leave changelings in their place , the witches of the witch trials, poltergeists, and malevolent voodoo spirits She befriends a girl familiar with the voodoo traditions, too.Ada grows up, and a little like the well known The Three Faces Of Eve, has a split personality, influenced not only by the first two WE who were born with her, but also by a wild and naughty girl, Asughara, who is born when Ada first has sex A real troublemaker, but sometimes Ada enjoys the excuse to cut loose.Speaking of cutting, she does that, too, feeding her demons, as it were The only way they can enjoy lives is to escape this life and cross back over, as they were supposed to do But remember The gates closed behind them, so you know what that means Who s the bridge Their host body, that s who, and while Ada Asughara bounces from lover to anorexia to psychiatric ward and back again, they all have conversations with her, and they may even hug her somehow Sometimes she feels safest inside with them.She survives the American college experience, the club scene, pubs, you name it She they have an active social and love life and don t miss much It s a wonderful read and I found it absolutely compelling I especially enjoyed this author s thank you to award winning Nigerian author, Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie Chimamanda Adichie, for the Farafina Creative Writing Workshop and the ripples from that For that moment when I started to tell you about the book and you tilted your head, looked at me, and said, Ah, so you re an ogbanje Emezi obviously got it right AND THIS IS A DEBUT Thanks to NetGalley and Grove Press for the review copy from which I ve quoted, so quotes may be changed This isn t due for publication until February 2018 but is available on NetGalley until then, so I m posting my review early to encourage other reviewers to have a look.UPDATE flag 68 likesLike see review View all 23 comments Feb 16, 2018 Jennifer TarHeelReader rated it really liked it review of another edition 4 fresh, imaginative stars to Freshwater The most creative book I ve read this year I have read nothing like Freshwater before It is hard to categorize It is literary fiction, but what else Magical realism Mysticism The author noted at the end that this was her spiritual book, so I will go with spiritual literary fiction I went with the literal flow while I was reading Freshwater could be murky, even incoherent, at times Ada was born in Nigeria, a difficult baby with a fractur 4 fresh, imaginative stars to Freshwater The most creative book I ve read this year I have read nothing like Freshwater before It is hard to categorize It is literary fiction, but what else Magical realism Mysticism The author noted at the end that this was her spiritual book, so I will go with spiritual literary fiction I went with the literal flow while I was reading Freshwater could be murky, even incoherent, at times Ada was born in Nigeria, a difficult baby with a fractured self What transpired is hard to describe but as Ada grew up, the selves within her grew stronger and powerful Ada took the backseat, while her alternative selves were in charge, and her life became dangerous and volatile I do not want to spoil anything, so I am keeping this review brief This is a novel, the layers, the writing, you have to experience for yourself Keep your expectations loose, your mind open If you enjoy gorgeous prose with profound messages of healing, hope, and truth, Freshwater is a most worthy read Thank you to Akwaeke Emezi I m eagerly awaiting your next wondrous work , Grove Atlantic, and Netgalley Edelweiss for the complimentary copy flag 69 likesLike see review View all 43 comments Feb 21, 2018 Evelina AvalinahsBooks rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves arcs or review copies, books of 2018, edelweiss, dark tbr, family tbr, favorites, human relationships tbr, illness, owned ebooks read, psychology tbr Freshwater is a stunning novel, one that I dove into and couldn t surface out of for a while It s like a pool of dark water that you don t really even want to get out of And I was sad when the book finished despite it being quite a violent and shaking experience I am not lying when I say I intend to read it again.This review is quite long, so I suggest reading it on my blog This Story Is What You Make Of It The most incredible aspect of Freshwater is that there are two ways to read it ei Freshwater is a stunning novel, one that I dove into and couldn t surface out of for a while It s like a pool of dark water that you don t really even want to get out of And I was sad when the book finished despite it being quite a violent and shaking experience I am not lying when I say I intend to read it again.This review is quite long, so I suggest reading it on my blog This Story Is What You Make Of It The most incredible aspect of Freshwater is that there are two ways to read it either as magical realism, or as stark naked reality. I chose to read it as magical realism Keep that in mind when you read this review And it s not that things change based on how you read it it s that your understanding of the story changes So let s pause a moment here to consider how amazing a story must be, if it can have two layers like that That s partly why I want to reread it Understanding The Fractured Self I don t know if there are many novels with a main character who suffers a personality disorder, particularly novels where a character like that isn t just written off as not quite all there Ada is portrayed as completely normal despite her problems, and in multiple instances it is stressed that she is sane, and that none of this is her fault This is something that I would like to see often in literature, when it comes to mental health.While reading this, and knowing none of the author s backstory, I kept wondering if this is how it really is for people with multiple personalities I know I m probably a bad reviewer for not looking this up and considering the book simply on its own, but regardless of whether it s well researched or actually experienced by the author or someone close to them, I loved reading about the experiences of the main character because it helped me learn about such personalities and what they go through Don t get me wrong nothing that she goes through is even remotely rosy or beautiful It s all dark, messed up and very painful But getting behind the eyes of such a person through fiction is why we should be reading books It s education in empathy and understanding And that s why I loved this The Mythology As I mentioned, I chose to read Freshwater as or less magical realism, so I went with the fact that Ada s suffering comes from the fact that she is essentially multiple beings, born into one, and not given the gift of forgetting being born aware That was an amazing concept to wrap my mind around Imagining how such dynamics would shape a person, affect their growth Like a dark fairytale, where you can have your wish granted, but at a price you can t even fathom one cannot be a powerful, ageless being and not pay a price Seeing and explaining mental health problems through the prism of demons and old gods might not always work in our reality, but it s an incredible concept how traumatic events can both be interpreted as a forming of a new personality branch, or as a surfacing of an ancient being in a person s mind This is a battle between the old, shamanistic worldview, and the modern scientific one There is a reason there is a two headed snake on the cover But I won t spoil Read the book Strangely It s Relatable Maybe it should worry me that I could relate to a character who had life threatening mental illness But I believe that you could as well Even if just in little ways, it s not hard to see how traumatic events can change you, branch out new traits in you, even if you re normal Maybe you won t develop a new personality branch, but it s easy to say you won t be the same person as you were before the event It was an incredible experience having these ideas put in my mind, ideas I ve never pondered before The OwnVoices You might have noticed that I m not talking about the OwnVoices bit too much Partly, it s because I wanted my review to focus on the mental health bit and I can t confirm whether that part is OwnVoices or not , and partly it s because it s not really my place to talk too much about the PoC part of OwnVoices But yes it s totally there There is talk about race, about what it means to be from another place, to lose your roots In fact, that s the main theme that you can only heal yourself, when you find your roots, know where you are from The whole mythology bit is steeped in wonderful names, legends and religious lore of Nigeria But I will not talk much cause I m very uninformed So forgive me and just experience it yourself It s well worth it But Beware Of The Triggers Oh yeah, this book has triggers loads of them. Nothing with these tough topics could be free of them and this book has rape, suicide attempts, a lot of suicidal ideation, lots of violence, some of it contains blood etc brutal accidents, drugs You name it Well, I don t think it contains murder or animal abuse, but that s about it If you are sensitive, keep in mind that you can t read this book without submersion And it s pretty dark waters Other Books You Might Like I m surprised that it wasn t hard to find some recommendations that are connected in at least one way or another Heart Berries is a memoir of a First Nations Native American woman struggling with mental illness and her place in the world, In Case I Go is about a child who ends up being haunted by his grandfather s spirit over old secrets of the past, also related to the indigenous and this is similar both because of the your roots themes, and the double personality, or someone else s personality inhabiting your mind An Unkindness of Ghosts doesn t exactly have the personalities theme, but it has a lot to say about mental illness, and is both OwnVoices and talks a lot about Black Culture And The Gargoyle, perhaps the most different of all of these, also meshes magical realism with mental illness, and also talks about bodily harm I thank Grove Press for giving me a free copy of the book in exchange to my honest opinion.Read Post on My Blog My Bookstagram Bookish Twitter flag 49 likesLike see review View all 6 comments Dec 15, 2017 Rachel rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves netgalley, literary fiction, 2018, lgbt It s hard to talk about something that has no precedent Freshwater is utterly unique, and the result is breathtaking It s a dark, sensual, and thoughtful novel about a young woman coming to terms with and accepting the multiple identities that define her.The details of Ada s life raised in Nigeria, relocated to the U.S for college are only an elemental framework for what is ultimately an introspective story The majority of this book is narrated by a chorus of Ada s selves conceptualize It s hard to talk about something that has no precedent Freshwater is utterly unique, and the result is breathtaking It s a dark, sensual, and thoughtful novel about a young woman coming to terms with and accepting the multiple identities that define her.The details of Ada s life raised in Nigeria, relocated to the U.S for college are only an elemental framework for what is ultimately an introspective story The majority of this book is narrated by a chorus of Ada s selves conceptualized as Nigerian ogbanje until a traumatic assault in college causes two of these selves to take shape, as As ghara and Saint Vincent.What I found so stimulating about this novel is that it challenged a lot of my conceptions about health and identity, particularly in how these are often so heavily informed by western culture The perceived objectivity of psychology is something I ve always found comforting and taken for granted, but with this book, I m reminded of the significance of the relationship between culture and identity Steeped in Igbo folklore, Freshwater chronicles Ada s journey and Emezi s, as the book is informed by a lot of autobiographical elements in a way that s challenging, unexpected, and beautiful.Emezi s prose is so assured and lyrical it s hard to believe this is a debut This is an author to watch and a novel that absolutely everyone should read Thank you to Netgalley, Grove Press, and Akwaeke Emezi for the advanced copy provided in exchange for an honest review. flag 48 likesLike see review View all 14 comments Nov 17, 2017 Marchpane rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves netgalley A unique examination of painful adolescence, Freshwater is bewitching, bewildering and arresting in equal measure The novel combines an almost stream of consciousness narrative style with the central conceit of the multiple narrators being spirits or deities that inhabit the protagonist s mind, forming a sort of plural identity The result is an interesting perspective on a fractured sense of self It is the reader s experience of this perspective, rather than the actual plot, that fuels the bo A unique examination of painful adolescence, Freshwater is bewitching, bewildering and arresting in equal measure The novel combines an almost stream of consciousness narrative style with the central conceit of the multiple narrators being spirits or deities that inhabit the protagonist s mind, forming a sort of plural identity The result is an interesting perspective on a fractured sense of self It is the reader s experience of this perspective, rather than the actual plot, that fuels the book It s quite wonderful flag 40 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Apr 20, 2018 Dianne rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves arcs and first reads How to review this, how to review thisThe first 50 pages or so of this book were really tough for me I felt like I was physically fighting the book, trying to wrestle it into submission After the initial struggle, I fell into a somewhat uneasy rhythm with the story but I never quite managed to embrace it I can appreciate it somewhat remotely as a very original and inspired work of art, but it stirs very little depth of feeling or emotion in me This seems to be an allegorical narr How to review this, how to review thisThe first 50 pages or so of this book were really tough for me I felt like I was physically fighting the book, trying to wrestle it into submission After the initial struggle, I fell into a somewhat uneasy rhythm with the story but I never quite managed to embrace it I can appreciate it somewhat remotely as a very original and inspired work of art, but it stirs very little depth of feeling or emotion in me This seems to be an allegorical narrative about mental illness, sexual identity and other ways in which a person might feel other The story is narrated by various selves contained within Ada, who apparently suffers from multiple personality disorder The selves express themselves as gods called ogbanje They contend with each other inside Ada s mind, with other gods outside of Ada that they refer to as brothersisters, and with Ada herself It s a funky scene, starting with Ada s birth in Nigeria to her adulthood in the US.The writing is very dense and lofty well written and imaginative for sure, but tedious at the same time It just all felt too much, too much, too much.I d rate this as a 3.5, but am rounding down because, for me, it was chore than pleasure Don t let my lukewarm review stop you from reading this book it has gotten stellar reviews from my most trusted friends Sometimes books just don t speak to you, no matter how skillful the execution and the talents of the writer.Thanks to NetGalley and Grove Press for an ARC of this novel My review, however, is based on the hardcover version flag 39 likesLike see review View all 15 comments Dec 09, 2017 Darkowaa rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves arc I had known this book was as evil, dark and sinful as it was, I probably wouldn t have bothered to read it But now that I ve marinated the story in my mind for a while, I can confidently declare that Freshwater is so much than it s insane level of lust and blasphemy Freshwater is a dark, layered tale based in and out of the spiritual realm, which focuses on how past traumas deeply affect one s well being and mental health the FULL review I had known this book was as evil, dark and sinful as it was, I probably wouldn t have bothered to read it But now that I ve marinated the story in my mind for a while, I can confidently declare that Freshwater is so much than it s insane level of lust and blasphemy Freshwater is a dark, layered tale based in and out of the spiritual realm, which focuses on how past traumas deeply affect one s well being and mental health the FULL review is on the book blog link above flag 37 likesLike see review View all 13 comments Mar 20, 2018 Jessica Woodbury rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves authors of color, best 2018 arcs, lgbtq, religion I did an unusual thing before writing this review, I looked at what other people have said about the book Usually I like coming to a book without any advance knowledge and reviewing it without any awareness of its reception, but this time I was curious It is a hard book to pin down, I was still trying to figure out which words I could use to describe it It turns out that seeing the reviews helped I saw many people calling this book magical realism and I knew right away that this was wrong, I did an unusual thing before writing this review, I looked at what other people have said about the book Usually I like coming to a book without any advance knowledge and reviewing it without any awareness of its reception, but this time I was curious It is a hard book to pin down, I was still trying to figure out which words I could use to describe it It turns out that seeing the reviews helped I saw many people calling this book magical realism and I knew right away that this was wrong, at least for me For me, this book feels literal not figurative, it is not supposed to be magical, it is simply supposed to be real There are threads of mythology, threads of religion, but I don t see the book as fitting into magical realism at all That gave me some clarity.I also read a little bit of Emezi s writing and press around the book s release, and found some of her tweets where she lays out what the book is meant to be And while it was interesting to see her point of view, ultimately as a reader you have your own experience with the book I found her notes helpful, but I didn t use them as a decisive primer on how to interpret my experience Ultimately where I ve come down is a bit muddled, my impressions are hazy, seen through smoke, and that feels just right FRESHWATER is a book that uses Igbo religion to understand the way the self divides and fragments to protect itself It is a book about trauma and there is plenty of it and what a person must do when you cannot be saved from it but you still must survive it Ada is the primary body in the book but not the primary character, for Ada is an ogbanje Ada exists not as one self but as several selves, and those selves negotiate with each other for control of her body to help her survive in the world Ada is scarred by sexual assault so Asughara takes over for Ada s sex life Saint Vincent feels determinedly un feminine and eventually is able to define Ada s gender in a way that makes all the selves feel whole Traditionally ogbanje are described as trickster spirits, reincarnated over and over again to torment mothers But Emezi sees the ogbanje as something else, as several selves While reading the book I decided to take the descriptions on their face, to see the selves as spirits or gods, and gradually figure out how it all fit together I have a different view of it now that it s done, but I feel comfortable with my reading There s something about seeing this too much as a metaphor for mental illness that rubs me wrong, that feels like it s imposing a lens the book doesn t want you to have To me, this doesn t feel like a book that is using metaphor to describe multiple personality disorder or depression or gender dysphoria or suicidality, it feels like something else entirely and that s the reading that felt right to me.The other selves do most of the narrating and their voices are astonishing and chilling They view Ada with affection but also detachment, their remove from human endeavors would seem to hold you at a distance and yet I didn t feel that way at all I was spellbound This book is a true feat, with prose and structure and voice and concepts that all feel vivid and singular It is both bold and quiet, it is shattering and soothing, I can t imagine I will read a interesting book this year flag 36 likesLike see review View all 4 comments Mar 14, 2018 Marie rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves literary fiction, mental illness This is a startlingly raw and dark novel about spirituality, abuse, trauma and mental illness In this fresh perspective, debut novelist Akwaeke Emezi embeds ogbanje, or nonhuman entities, within Ada, a girl born to parents who had prayed to the God Ala for a daughter Ala, a serpentine God, the judge and mother who holds the underworld in her belly grants the parents their wish Thus, Ada name meaning the egg of a python is born to suffer the fate of having spirits reside inside of her For a This is a startlingly raw and dark novel about spirituality, abuse, trauma and mental illness In this fresh perspective, debut novelist Akwaeke Emezi embeds ogbanje, or nonhuman entities, within Ada, a girl born to parents who had prayed to the God Ala for a daughter Ala, a serpentine God, the judge and mother who holds the underworld in her belly grants the parents their wish Thus, Ada name meaning the egg of a python is born to suffer the fate of having spirits reside inside of her For a time, Ada tries to present a unified front wherein she and the spirits within her are one However, with abuse and trauma, she becomes fractured and these spirits within her exert their influence in different ways.Ada appeases the spirits within her from an early age by cutting After a sexual assault in college she gives herself over to Asughara often and especially when she is to be intimate with anyone Asughara is trying to protect the Ada from these incidents, but also derives pleasure from the experience, leading to sexual compulsion Ada finds it hard to be herself even in a loving marriage She struggles with self mutilation, suicidality, gender dysphoria and fractured sense of identity.The life of Ada is based loosely on the author s own life Akwaeke Emezi is Igbo and was born in Nigeria Her sister, like Ada s, was in a terrible accident Akwaeke was molested as a young girl She self describes herself as gender dysphoric and has had surgeries to remove her breasts and her reproductive organs She didn t want her breasts removed to become male, but to be able to wear dresses and switch between genders easily The author s name has a direct connection to an Igbo deity, like Ada s She has attempted suicide.I love that this novel brings attention to issues of gender violence, self mutilation, suicidality, mental illness, fractured identity, and gender dysphoria It is written in such a unique way that incorporates spirituality and the author s Igbo culture The writing is excellent My only complaint is the dizzying and disorienting effect of reading narrations of the various different identities, but perhaps that is the feeling the author meant to convey I did not trust my own recollection of what I had read at times, because one reality of the life Ada experiences is completely differently from the next This novel offers a fascinating explanation and exploration of the experience of mental illness and gender dysphoria There is so much to think about and ways to interpret what the author is conveying, that this would make a great book club book.Thank you to net galley for an ARC of this book in exchange for honest review.For discussion questions, please see flag 31 likesLike see review View all 4 comments Jul 25, 2017 Tudor Vlad rated it really liked it review of another edition I think that the best praise a book can get is having the reader think to himself this is something that I have never read , and this is what made Freshwater for me such an outstanding experience, the fact that I had no prior book that I could compare it to, it was completely new territory It is also what makes it so damn hard to review, there are all these feelings mixed up in my mind and making sense of them is just as hard as it was for Ada to make sense of herself For starters, it is real I think that the best praise a book can get is having the reader think to himself this is something that I have never read , and this is what made Freshwater for me such an outstanding experience, the fact that I had no prior book that I could compare it to, it was completely new territory It is also what makes it so damn hard to review, there are all these feelings mixed up in my mind and making sense of them is just as hard as it was for Ada to make sense of herself For starters, it is really hard to make sense of what genre you should place it in, but then you realize that labeling is just what this book tries to fight, so doing it to it feels wrong Akwaeke tells the story of Ada, a girl that since her birth has always been considered by the people around her as peculiar for there were two spirits that lived inside her since her birth These spirits that long to complete their passage from the real world into the other side, with their only obstacle toward that goal being the fact that they are linked to Ada s physical body Over time, the spirits, begin to form a sort of relationship with Ada and they become protectors to her They take hold of her body when the reality and the people around her are just too much to handle because for a girl that is possessed by two evil spirits, she is remarkably good and innocent, and easily corrupted by the world The way in which Akwaeke uses mysticism in order to detach the reader from what they believe to know about mental illnesses is something that I found extremely clever and I was left in awe by how effective it was This book explores a lot of modern themes such as identity, self acceptance and what makes as normal and for that matter, does normal even exist Freshwater celebrates owning and accepting your own voice, no matter what that voice might say or in how many other voices it might fracture A book that speaks to that little voice inside of you that wants to be heard, but you never had the courage to let it free It really is a groundbreaking work of literature I received an advanced copy of this book courtesy of Groove Atlantic, Groove Press and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. flag 30 likesLike see review View 2 comments Feb 12, 2018 Michelle rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves diaspora, debuts, net galley, 2018, best book of the year, 2018 popsugar challenge Freshwater is the semi autobiographical account of a young woman suffering from multiple personality disorder after a traumatic event Steeped in Igbo tradition the main character Ada lives a life straddling two worlds As the daughter of the serpent goddess Ala, she is born with one foot on the other side occupying the liminal spaces between the spirit realm and the flesh What is the cause of her fractured self Is she possessed or is she mad What is reality Can we accept both of these as Freshwater is the semi autobiographical account of a young woman suffering from multiple personality disorder after a traumatic event Steeped in Igbo tradition the main character Ada lives a life straddling two worlds As the daughter of the serpent goddess Ala, she is born with one foot on the other side occupying the liminal spaces between the spirit realm and the flesh What is the cause of her fractured self Is she possessed or is she mad What is reality Can we accept both of these as plausible explanations In this rich and mystical novel Emezi explores self identity, human frailty, sacrifice and resurrection Freshwater is such an innovative work, the majority of which is narrated by the spirits that inhabit Ada It is not often that you come across a book that is written so eloquently, that touches your soul in the deep parts and leaves you breathless This is why we read books I would like to thank Grove Atlantic Press and Akwaeke Emezi for an advanced reader s edition of this book in exchange for an honest review. flag 30 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Aug 30, 2018 Meike rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves 2018 read, nigeria Akwaeke Emezi Is a 5 Under 35 Honoree 2018 of the National Book Foundation Freshwater cleverly discusses the human mind by inquiring what actually constitutes mental illness To what degree is our inner fragmentation the multitude of feelings and urges, the freedom to be many things part of the human condition, and when does it become harmful and destructive Nigerian author Akwaeke Emezi employs African myths and Igbo spirituality in order to tell the story of Ada, who might suffer fro Akwaeke Emezi Is a 5 Under 35 Honoree 2018 of the National Book Foundation Freshwater cleverly discusses the human mind by inquiring what actually constitutes mental illness To what degree is our inner fragmentation the multitude of feelings and urges, the freedom to be many things part of the human condition, and when does it become harmful and destructive Nigerian author Akwaeke Emezi employs African myths and Igbo spirituality in order to tell the story of Ada, who might suffer from bipolar disorder or not Or maybe the terms used by mental health professionals are not suitable to describe her experience at all Ada was prayed into existence by her parents and is possessed by gods she is many She was contaminated with us, a godly parasite with many heads, roaring inside the marble room of her mind The god named Asughara is reckless and fueled by anger, but also protects Ada from the trauma that is tormenting her Saint Vincent, on the other hand, is gentle and roaming her dreams plus there are others, less mentioned ones, like Yshwa who seems to be a Christ like figure To live with the gods in one entity becomes and painful for Ada, she feels desperate, exhausted and sectioned at the same time, one wonders if the gods aren t right when they are saying we re the buffer between you and madness, we re not the madness .Emezi touches upon many topics during her story, among them child abuse, rape, self harm, alcohol, suicide, toxic relationships, and depression Gender also plays a major role, with Ada identifying as a non binary transgender person She could move between boy and girl, which was freedom, for her and for us the gods just like the author who invented her In many ways, this is a roman clef hint Also pay attention to surgeries, tattoos, and dresses mentioned, among other things Some of the possible psychological reasons for Ada s painful multiplicity are given very late in the text, there are important hints at around 50 % and as late as 90 % of the book that feel a little like a deus ex machina ha sorry clearly, an author can choose to structure her narrative like that, but I am not a fan My main criticism is very subjective though I never really warmed to the text, and I wasn t invested in the story The whole novel is a fragmented, highly constructed experiment in which gods speak in very detached, abstract voices Does this make sense poetically Absolutely I didn t enjoy reading it though.But I clearly see how people could love this book and admire Emezi for her inventive, edgy story that dares to be ambiguous, peculiar and challenging I would not be surprised if we saw Freshwater on the next longlist for the Women s Prize for Fiction flag 29 likesLike see review View all 4 comments Mar 15, 2018 Jenny Reading Envy rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves read2018, hoopla, audiobook I was pulled in to this story narrated by the author of Ada, who is a gift from the plural Igbo serpent god to her parents for praying the right way But because they were the child, the god s own her, and are always with her There is a disturbing description of it at the beginning where they go inside the lining of her uterus, among other places During a traumatic event, they take hold of Ada s body and then have the ability to completely take over when they want or need to If she has s I was pulled in to this story narrated by the author of Ada, who is a gift from the plural Igbo serpent god to her parents for praying the right way But because they were the child, the god s own her, and are always with her There is a disturbing description of it at the beginning where they go inside the lining of her uterus, among other places During a traumatic event, they take hold of Ada s body and then have the ability to completely take over when they want or need to If she has sex with anyone, it is never her, always them.Halfway through listening to this novel, I encountered this article, which explained to me how this novel is autobiographical than I would have imagined The author discusses being ogbanje and also genderqueer, how the one informs the other, how they have modified their body to fit how they feel And Ada goes through this as well, except it feels like greater discomfort from the spirits than from Ada When she hits puberty, they are uncomfortable at how they can t fully identify or control the humanity that comes into being Ada also pursues surgical answers, and struggles with suicide along the way It is worth the read, worth the experience, the writing is beautiful while also being disturbing The gods in Ada interact with other gods, like Yeshua and Allah, and Yeshua is often hanging around waiting for Ada to come back to him He even reaches out to the serpent gods in friendship The mother is an important character who is actually shut out from Ada s life at one point, by the gods Typically these gods are considered spirits, but of course they might not see themselves that way I enjoyed how the author wrote from their perspective, and it is a bit trippy flag 29 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Sep 04, 2018 Vanessa rated it liked it review of another edition This was an intense read on so many levels It s strange but in a way that makes mostly perfect sense The many facets of a person The inner characters that live inside all of us It is written in a completely unique and transformative way both contemporary and traditional A real psychological analysis of a fractured individual being and the broken mind How trauma can really fracture and consume a person The inner dialogue that taunts and heals The book is steeped in surreal imagery, full This was an intense read on so many levels It s strange but in a way that makes mostly perfect sense The many facets of a person The inner characters that live inside all of us It is written in a completely unique and transformative way both contemporary and traditional A real psychological analysis of a fractured individual being and the broken mind How trauma can really fracture and consume a person The inner dialogue that taunts and heals The book is steeped in surreal imagery, full of symbolic meaning a real spiritual journey it s not an easy quick read this needs to be savoured and contemplated The book had to grow on me as I was feeling resistant towards it at first This feels like it needs to be read and then reread to get the full impact of the meaning of the book I hovered over a 3 and 4 star rating so I ll go with 3.5 stars flag 28 likesLike see review View all 8 comments Feb 03, 2018 Shannon rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves arc publisher Having been a follower of Akwaeke Emezi on Instagram for some time, I was thrilled to see she d written a novel I expected it to be a reflection of the beautiful images and energy she floods us with on her Instagram feed My oh my I had no idea this book would be the exact opposite The book s blurb does do a bit of foreshadowing by including phrases like troubled baby, source of deep concern to her parents, volatile and splintered child, something went terribly awry, traumatic assa Having been a follower of Akwaeke Emezi on Instagram for some time, I was thrilled to see she d written a novel I expected it to be a reflection of the beautiful images and energy she floods us with on her Instagram feed My oh my I had no idea this book would be the exact opposite The book s blurb does do a bit of foreshadowing by including phrases like troubled baby, source of deep concern to her parents, volatile and splintered child, something went terribly awry, traumatic assault, dark and dangerous direction So maybe it s my own damn fault for being so naive But I just didn t think she had it in her While I guess I can now say the warnings were there, I did not gather from the book s blurb that As ghara and Saint Vincent were actually spirits They were described as alternate selves Through the first five chapters, the narrative is presented from the point of view of We So even though the spirits are present from sentence one, Ada their human vessel is very much present as well And I was enjoying reading about her As ghara takes over the narrative in the sixth chapter and we see less of Ada she is only present as As ghara s vessel I didn t like As ghara Well, As ghara is evil so I guess I wasn t supposed to like her But I could not deal with her either It was too heavy Too much She was destroying Ada So I guess this is where I have to give Akwaeke credit because As ghara was f ing me up too I tried to read past her, hoping to return to a balanced narrative a We chapter that didn t have Ada completely in the background But with As ghara leading five of the next eight chapters and the some of the chapters she wasn t leading were as short as 2 pages , I d had enough of her by page 142 When I saw the following chapter was As ghara s as well, I was done As I started skimming through the rest of the book, I was taken aback to see some of the Ada s experiences begin aligning with Akwaeke s Akwaeke recently published a piece in The Cut about being nonbinary trans, ogbanje, and related surgeries If you re like me and are wanting to read this book because you love Akwaeke s Instagram feed, I d recommend reading this article and then picking up the book All of that said, unfortunately, this book goes on my list of books I did not finish I never give books I didn t finish than one or two stars But as you may have surmised, this is certainly not a one or two star book How can I even rate it I need this book tour to get a Washington, DC stop added ASAP flag 26 likesLike see review View all 6 comments Jan 27, 2018 PorshaJo rated it really liked it review of another edition Review to come.ed to gather my thoughts about this one flag 32 likesLike see review View all 10 comments Jul 11, 2018 Paul Fulcher rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves 2018 No matter how mad it sounded, the things that were happening in my head were real and had been happening for a very long time After all the doctors and the diagnoses and the hospitals, this thing of being an gbanje, a child of Ala that was the only path that brought me any peace.My mother draws closer now I can see a red road opening before me the forest is green on either side and the sky is blue above it The sun is hot on the back of my neck The river is full of my scales With each No matter how mad it sounded, the things that were happening in my head were real and had been happening for a very long time After all the doctors and the diagnoses and the hospitals, this thing of being an gbanje, a child of Ala that was the only path that brought me any peace.My mother draws closer now I can see a red road opening before me the forest is green on either side and the sky is blue above it The sun is hot on the back of my neck The river is full of my scales With each step, I am less afraid I am the brothersister who remained I am a village full of faces and a compound full of bones, translucent thousands Why should I be afraid I am the source of the spring.All freshwater comes out of my mouth.A wonderfully unique book, one rooted deeply both in Igbo culture and, although clearly fictional, the author s own very personal experience And one I struggle to do justice read these two interviews with the author and then read the book surgeries were a bridge across realities, a spirit customizing its vessel to reflect its nature.https nylon articles akwaeke em flag 24 likesLike see review View all 8 comments Sep 04, 2018 Tori InToriLex rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves african Content Warning Rape, Sexual Abuse, Suicide, Substance Abuse, Self Harm didn t know what I was in for when I started this reading this road map into Ada s mind Ada is a woman whose group of identities control and direct her life The spectacular prose morphed this exploration of mental illness, into a memorable character study of identity, gender and race The novel follows Ada s life from birth through adulthood as she grapples with her relationships and changing personality Ada s inne Content Warning Rape, Sexual Abuse, Suicide, Substance Abuse, Self Harm didn t know what I was in for when I started this reading this road map into Ada s mind Ada is a woman whose group of identities control and direct her life The spectacular prose morphed this exploration of mental illness, into a memorable character study of identity, gender and race The novel follows Ada s life from birth through adulthood as she grapples with her relationships and changing personality Ada s inner dialogue was insightful and straight forward which made her complex emotions accessible for any reader We understood what was necessary humans often fail at listening, as if their stubbornness will convince the truth to change, as if they have that kind of power They do, however, understand forceful things, cruelties they obey those Ada s experiences tragedy and heart break as she struggles to identify how to help her self She also explores her sexuality and gender in different ways as her other selves possess her All of it is told through a non judgemental persona who does not want to limit their ability to experience humanity in brutal ways through sex and self harm Ada moves from Nigeria to America to attend college and encounters other cultures, races and love In college she is able to find other students and friends that help her adjust and cope with her other selves The described intersections and otherness she feels as she develops into a woman in a clash of cultures was very relateable But I ve learned that you can t force forever on the wrong people They belong exactly where they are, giving exactly what they want to I don t ask for anything I figure I shouldn t have to I connected with Ada and her experiences emotionally in so many ways After reading this book I was reminded of my own problematic relationships and experiences This book forces the reader to dissect their own humanity and confront their emotions as Ada does The African mythology and spirituality discussed also added great layers to this labyrinth of a story The diversity, characters and plot flowed together effortlessly I would recommend this book to everyone, bless your self and read it as soon as possible Recommended for Readers who enjoy diverse character driven stories that address mental illness are comfortable reading about mature topics and self harm enjoy unconventional and compelling storytelling flag 21 likesLike see review Feb 13, 2018 Sharon Metcalf rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves 2018, netgalley 3.5 starsRight up frint I m going to say that Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi will not be right for everyone but then again which book is It took me a while to understand what I was reading, to figure out who was narrating the story and I had to concentrate at all times However this effort was well and truly rewarded This was an incredible debut full of beautiful, thought provoking passages and it was one of the most original stories I ve ever read One of my notes wasg this 3.5 starsRight up frint I m going to say that Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi will not be right for everyone but then again which book is It took me a while to understand what I was reading, to figure out who was narrating the story and I had to concentrate at all times However this effort was well and truly rewarded This was an incredible debut full of beautiful, thought provoking passages and it was one of the most original stories I ve ever read One of my notes wasg this is a weird but wonderfully clever book I m not sure even now that I fully understood everything I was reading and for that reason it s going to be hard to do justice to the story, so I apologise in advance to the author if I get it wrong My uninformed opinion pre Google search was that our narrator was an evil spirit, or to be correct a collection of evil spirits Known as Ogbanje they inhabited and, to a very large degree, controlled the thoughts and actions of Ada a Nigerian human female I felt quite satisfied with my interpretation when I read The ogbanje are creatures of God with powers over mortals They are not subject to the laws of justice and have no moral scruples, causing harm without justification C Chukwuemeka Mbaegbu, The Ultimate Being in Igbo Ontology As ghara As I continued reading I changed my mind and decided Ada must have a mental illness such as schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder Certainly many of her behaviours seemed to signify this think self harm, anorexia, failed suicide attempts Even Ada began to question her sanity and described it thus The world in my head has been far real than the one outside maybe that s the exact definition of madness, come to think of it Whichever interpretation we go with, there s no doubt Ada had her inner demons Though we rarely heard from Ada herself I was saddened by her struggles through life It gave me a whole new perspective about what it must be like to be have such a tortured soul How difficult life would be to live this way, or to love and care about someone like Ada Thanks to GR friend PattyMacDotComma for her fabulous review which steered me towards this book Thanks too to the publishers Black Cat New York and NetGalley for the opportunity of reading this digital ARC in exchange for an honest review Finally congratulations to the author for a job very well done flag 21 likesLike see review View all 16 comments Oct 18, 2017 Kay rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves arc, rebel women lit, rwlchallenge 2018 RWLChallenge A Book with a neurodiverse main character of colour own voices.Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for approving my request for a free digital copy in exchange for a review RapeRepresentation for PTSD, Multiple Personality DisorderThis book is too good, and at around 41 pages to go I decided to stop reading I may pick it up again but I decided to stop because I didn t want to say goodbye to this book This has never happened before and I doubt it ever will again Freshwa RWLChallenge A Book with a neurodiverse main character of colour own voices.Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for approving my request for a free digital copy in exchange for a review RapeRepresentation for PTSD, Multiple Personality DisorderThis book is too good, and at around 41 pages to go I decided to stop reading I may pick it up again but I decided to stop because I didn t want to say goodbye to this book This has never happened before and I doubt it ever will again Freshwater is easily one of the top three books I have read this year The writing is so sophisticated and polished that I found myself immersed in this world extremely quickly I found myself wanting to rush home or skip work just to spend time reading this book It s one of my favourite feelings as a reader and I am extremely happy I found it in this book That said, while I deeply loved this book I think there may be some readers who will struggle to feel as fully immersed as I did A large part of this is due to the writing style in the first few chapters as we This, I believe is largely intentional and mimics the chaos of the spirit world as well as what Ada herself may have felt when she was young If you find yourself struggling in the first few chapters keep reading There are multiple layers to the voices, and the characters, although I think there will be those who wish we got of St Vincent I m not sure if the continued exploitation of his POV would enhance the story so I am fine leaving it at the current minimum.That said, this is a disgustingly good book and I cannot recommend it enough flag 19 likesLike see review View all 7 comments Jul 08, 2018 Ifeyinwa rated it it was ok review of another edition Still cementing my thoughts on this, but the long story short is I didn t like this novel the writing and execution There was a lot telling than showing with minimal buildup and character development My interest in this novel is rooted in being a follower of Akwaeke s social media platforms So, I was beside myself with excitement when she announced its publication a while back Earlier this year, I attempted to read Freshwater, but the few pages I read failed t Still cementing my thoughts on this, but the long story short is I didn t like this novel the writing and execution There was a lot telling than showing with minimal buildup and character development My interest in this novel is rooted in being a follower of Akwaeke s social media platforms So, I was beside myself with excitement when she announced its publication a while back Earlier this year, I attempted to read Freshwater, but the few pages I read failed to hold my interest But I was determined to try again The premise, an exploration of the fractured self of a Nigerian woman Ada , is intriguing and I wanted to know The novel opens with the spirits perspective, we and it took me a minute to adjust to the confusing style of narration In essence, Ada is an ogbanje and contains a host of spirits, and some became strengthened as a result of certain life experiences The novel narrates how they upheaved and controlled Ada, despite her desire for a better different life I preferred the parts of the book that were set in Umuahia When Ada moves to Virginia for college, then later Boston, and travels to other places, the novel loses its sense of place Maybe that was intentional Navidad Thelamor s review best captures how I felt about this novel This novel requires patience from the reader with the leaps between perspectives, the back and forth between timelines, and honestly, the structure and writing in general My main qualm with this novel is that Ada s life felt narrated in bullet points, rather than fleshed out Some things were simply stated instead of shown For instance, there s mention that Ada was a great student, but bruh, I can t even tell you what classes she took or what she majored in There wasn t much build up or development like I m used to with literary novels, and perhaps therein lies the issue I expected a literary novel Please describe the color of the sky, the dress you re wearing, what you have on your feet etc Give me all the details However, because a lot of details coincide with the author s life, I wondered if in an attempt to make this novel seem less autobiographical and fictional, certain details were left out, resulting in superficiality Yeah, this was sadly a huge miss for me flag 17 likesLike see review View all 4 comments Feb 27, 2018 Shawn Mooney rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves read in 2018 Akwaeke Emezi s debut is one of the most compelling dare I say, bewitching literary novels of recent years, largely a function of its incantatory prose and idiosyncratic narrative style Its hero, Ada, is no mere mortal sufferer of multiple personalities but rather an Igbo deity struggling with incarnation Who knew the novel form was porous enough could be stretched enough for such a story to roar through its gates My BookTube review flag 24 likesLike see review View 1 comment Mar 24, 2018 jo rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves netgalley, psychic pain, psychiatry ugh, the body, trauma, queer, africa i finished this some time ago i m waiting to find the words to say what it meant to me, and what it means, in general, in my opinion it s not a book for everyone, but if you are part of a multiple reality or experience dissociation, you should probably read it immediately if you like the look of your blood and the feeling of pain that getting the blood out of your body entails, you should also probably read this if you are trans and being trans is torturing you in any way at all, you too sho i finished this some time ago i m waiting to find the words to say what it meant to me, and what it means, in general, in my opinion it s not a book for everyone, but if you are part of a multiple reality or experience dissociation, you should probably read it immediately if you like the look of your blood and the feeling of pain that getting the blood out of your body entails, you should also probably read this if you are trans and being trans is torturing you in any way at all, you too should read this this is freshwater for all young older people in painVIEW, QUITE SOME TIME LATER Sept 5, 2018 i read with brutal speed it s a brutal book and i couldn t put it down i had never seen mental illness the author wouldn t like my saying this and gender treated like this.i read a lot of books about psychic pain i am not a fan of its pathologization and categorization, of boxing it up, of naming it like the name is all we need to know and then everything is clear.emezi lived with different personalities for years and undoubtedly saw psychiatrists and psychiatric wards than we could tolerate the world of western psychiatry is not a gentle and forgiving one and then one day she discovered nigerian theology she discovered she is a special person, a conduit between humanity and the gods and this made sense of everything psychiatry is sense making theology is sense making stories are sense making there is violence in this book but the violence is morphed by the author from banal, meaningless self harm to theologically poignant offering to the gods you cannot read this if you cannot let go of your understanding of mental pain or mental diversity it will be abhorrent to you there is also a ton of sexual violence in this book, and childhood trauma emezi is western educated and she knows what you are thinking don t tell her what she is don t tell her why she is the way she is she has been there she has chosen her own story and she s trans she is fine with she and they and with being trans you don t need to wrap your mind around this, you need to believe her she is the only one with the right to define herself i m treating the book as autobiographical cuz quite some time has passed since its publication and we now know it is if you follow emezi on twitter you ll know that she is blazing her own trail i ll be along every step of the way my admiration for her is boundless flag 17 likesLike see review View all 13 comments Jul 21, 2018 Neil rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves 2018 This is a very difficult book for me to review It comes from a world that is very different to my own There is a clue in the author description Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer and artist based in liminal spaces Then there is an interview in which the author refers to certain autobiographical realities that include her identity as an ogbanje This is a new term for me, but Emezi explains it as an Igbo spirit that s born into a human body, a kind of malevolent trickster Its goa This is a very difficult book for me to review It comes from a world that is very different to my own There is a clue in the author description Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer and artist based in liminal spaces Then there is an interview in which the author refers to certain autobiographical realities that include her identity as an ogbanje This is a new term for me, but Emezi explains it as an Igbo spirit that s born into a human body, a kind of malevolent trickster Its goal is to torment the human mother by dying unexpectedly only to return in the next child and do it all over again You might, like me, start to feel a bit out of your depth at this stage.Freshwater tells the story of Ada Ada is born with multiple spirits inside her head These are not positive beings they push her towards self destruction The book becomes uncomfortable for an inexperienced European reader like me when it starts to take symptoms I would associate with mental instability unprotected, sometimes violent, sex, eating disorders, self harm, binge drinking, depression and roots them in Igbo spirituality The book is dedicated to those of us with one foot on the other side .I find this quote from The New Yorker fascinating The book would have made grim sense through a mental health lens instead, it is an indigenous fairy tale Whilst I can understand what that sentence means, it is a struggle for me to get away from the mental health lens through which it does make grim sense and see the fairy tale.There is nothing comfortable about the experience of reading this book The prose is refreshingly different with many passages or phrases that surprise you and unsettle you The Christian God does not fare well which is awkward reading for someone who has attended a Christian church for the last 50 years There is a lot of darkness in the story as it explores again from The New Yorker the pain of being imprisoned in a physical form .But, I don t read books in order to sit in my comfort zone Well, sometimes I do But I do want books that challenge my world view, that make me feel uncomfortable, that show me worlds I have not experienced And I get all of this from Freshwater, so it gets multiple stars from me for being such a challenge.Have I said uncomfortable enough flag 16 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Nov 09, 2017 Kristina rated it it was amazing review of another edition Thank you to Netgalley and publisher for granting me this request of getting a free e copy in exchange for a review.Just a disclaimer my review does absolutely nothing for the book It is far too brilliant We d need an entire day and a glass of wine or a cup of tea on an open veranda to discuss When I started Freshwater , my initial thoughts were Aahwhat s this Lol But upon completion, a breathed a very weighted whoa Freshwater is quite literally unlike anything I ve ever read It Thank you to Netgalley and publisher for granting me this request of getting a free e copy in exchange for a review.Just a disclaimer my review does absolutely nothing for the book It is far too brilliant We d need an entire day and a glass of wine or a cup of tea on an open veranda to discuss When I started Freshwater , my initial thoughts were Aahwhat s this Lol But upon completion, a breathed a very weighted whoa Freshwater is quite literally unlike anything I ve ever read It crept and arrived in spaces I didn t know existed in me To say that Akwaeke has a way with words is to utterly undersell her pure, otherworldly talent She seamlessly weaves together a story rife with hard and heavy themes like spirituality, trauma and our responses to them, identity and family In the early scenes of the book, it s easy to get somewhat lost as we re introduced to one of our narrators, in the form of the elusive we But the you read on, the you become engrossed in the world that Akwaeke is spinning, the you begin to understand the confusing, dizzying, intoxicating, heartbreaking whirlwind of an existence that Ada has to endure It becomes even clearer when we re introduced to the other characters that spring from her fractured self and, suddenly, you re wondering about the fissures and fractures in your own self.The fact that it s based in the author s own realities is evident through its rawness and its honesty and makes this book even of a gem Akwaeke reminds us, that though we live in this binary world that seeks to label us, categorise us and grind us into their own shapes, we are godlike and gods cannot be contained Thank you, Akwaeke, for sharing this with the world For sharing this with me flag 16 likesLike see review View 2 comments Jun 10, 2018 Gumbles Yard rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves 2018 Ada wanted a reason, a better explanation We were not enough We were too strange, She had been raised by humans, medical ones at hat So instead she read lists of diagnostic criteria, things like disruptions of identity, self damaging impulsivity, emotional instability and mood swings, self mutilating behaviour and recurrent suicidal behaviour I could have told her it was all me, even the last one Especially the last one Maybe all her research was done in self preservation, because she did Ada wanted a reason, a better explanation We were not enough We were too strange, She had been raised by humans, medical ones at hat So instead she read lists of diagnostic criteria, things like disruptions of identity, self damaging impulsivity, emotional instability and mood swings, self mutilating behaviour and recurrent suicidal behaviour I could have told her it was all me, even the last one Especially the last one Maybe all her research was done in self preservation, because she didn t trust me to save her I wanted her to die, yes, but like I said before, everything I did was in our best interests I was just trying to save her And for the record she tried to kill me first A novel where the idea of a character struggling with their inner demons is less of a metaphor and of a way an inaccurate way I think the author would say of me trying to portray the worldview of the bookThis interview and particularly the Twitter readers guide is worth readinghttps nylon articles akwaeke emAlso a novel which is actually much closer to autobiography than one would imagine reading it as this article makes clear unique novel at least in my experience and one I am struggling to rate flag 15 likesLike see review Feb 03, 2018 Donna rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves home library I cannot put into words properly my thoughts on this novel What I honestly think is it is masterfully written Yes, I highly recommend for you to read it Might I add, read without reading any reviews I look forward to reading works from Akwaeke flag 14 likesLike see review View all 9 comments previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next new topicDiscuss This Book topics posts views last activity One Book One Bronx One Book One Bronx Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi 1 1 Jan 21, 2019 06 23PM Biddles Escape B July 2018 Freshwater 1 12 Jul 06, 2018 05 00AM Eclectic Book Club May 2018 Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi 6 13 May 30, 2018 06 30PM Play Book Tag LISTOPIA Freshwater Akwaeke Emezi 5 shimmering stars 3 18 Mar 31, 2018 09 12AM Newest Literary F Feb Mar Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi 52 41 Mar 14, 2018 04 48PM More topics Share Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers Also Enjoyed

    Freshwater Akwaeke Emezi Books An Best Book of February Freshwater is a mesmerizing and poetic novel that cracks open notions of self control, mental illness, and love With every passing page, I felt myself submerge into the complex depths of Ada s identity letting the waves of Igbo lore infiltrate my understanding of the world and completely change my perception of a person s agency. Freshwater Farms Florist, Nursery and Garden Freshwater Farms is a full service florist, nursery and garden center serving Southern NH for over years Where is Earth s water USGS Water Science School All of the World s Water Earth s freshwater Spheres showing All water sphere over western U.S miles in diameter Fresh liquid water in the ground, lakes, swamps, and rivers sphere over Kentucky, . miles in diameter , and Fresh water lakes and rivers sphere over Georgia, . miles in diameter Credit Howard Perlman, USGS globe illustration by Jack Cook, Woods MBGnet Answer the question What s It Like Where You Live Learn about terrestrial biomes and aquatic ecosystems Follow link to site about plants. Freshwater Aquarium Care Basics Fish Information Help with the basics to advanced aspects of freshwater aquarium fish care Most subjects covered, with resource links to in depth advanced information Based Freshwater Informer The essential reading for any coarse fishing person in the South East Freshwater Informer provides match reports, fisheries, reviews, articles, new product reviews and news that interest anybody who beds their rod FWI is available free from all good fisheries, tackle shops, clubs and commercial fishing outlets It is also available on subscription and we are keen to receive readers opinions Licensing Permits Washington Department of Fish Wildlife Did you know That a portion of the fee from each combination, freshwater, saltwater and temporary fishing license excluding razor clam you buy goes to fund salmon and steelhead enhancement and habitat restoration through the Regional Fisheries Enhancement Group Program. API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT Test There was a problem adding this item to Cart Please try again later. Freshwater Aquarium Plant Care Substrate, Ferts, CO RECOMMENDED READING FOR SERIOUS AQUARIUM KEEPERS LOOKING TO MOVE PAST THE BASICS How Ulraviolet Sterilization Works The MOST ACCURATE, RESEARCHED, IN DEPTH article on the subject of UV Sterilizer, Clarifier Use in Aquariums or Ponds ANYWHERE. Crayfish The Care, Feeding and Breeding of Freshwater Jun , Learn how to care for a freshwater Crayfish From feeding to breeding, you will find all of the information that you need here.

    • Best Read [Akwaeke Emezi] ç Freshwater || [Graphic Novels Book] PDF ↠
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    About "Akwaeke Emezi"

      • Akwaeke Emezi

        Akwaeke Emezi Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Freshwater book, this is one of the most wanted Akwaeke Emezi author readers around the world.


    726 Comments

    1. When I got the depths of this novel, here during these dark hours, I was blown away My eyes were misty at the end.It s absolutely the most brilliant creative book written of its kind.It became personal to me.looking back at my own journey my own struggles my own fight my own growth my own inner peace.At one point I kept thinking, No wonder it s soooo hard for people to get well No wonder people repeat the same repetitive unwanted behaviors for years.I don t usually write revie When I got the dep [...]


    2. It s not easy to persuade a human to end their life they re very attached to it, even when it makes them miserable, and Ada was no different But it s not the decision to cross back that s difficult it s the crossing itself.Akwaeke Emezi s Freshwater is a novel of layers that do not always nicely overlap in fact, the pieces often seem to not fit together at all It is a novel born from trauma and emotional paroxysms, a read that erupts with them throughout You have to peel back the l [...]


    3. This was absolutely stunning From the very first page I knew I was in for something extraordinary and unlike anything I have ever read This debut combines many things I adore in books unconventional framing and unreliable narrators, a story that gets recontextualized constantly and kept me on my toes, a basis in mythology that informed but did not over shadow the actual story, perfect sentence structure that packs an unbelievable punch, and so many things that I am still struggling to ad This w [...]


    4. 5 DEBUT DedicationTo those of uswith one footon the other side By the time she our body struggled out into the world, slick and louder than a village of storms, the gates were left open We should have been anchored in her by then, asleep inside her membranes and synched with her mind That would have been the safest way But since the gates were open, not closed against remembrance, we became confused We were at once old and newborn We were her and yet not We were not conscious but 5 DEBUT Dedicat [...]


    5. 4 fresh, imaginative stars to Freshwater The most creative book I ve read this year I have read nothing like Freshwater before It is hard to categorize It is literary fiction, but what else Magical realism Mysticism The author noted at the end that this was her spiritual book, so I will go with spiritual literary fiction I went with the literal flow while I was reading Freshwater could be murky, even incoherent, at times Ada was born in Nigeria, a difficult baby with a fractur 4 fresh, imaginati [...]


    6. Freshwater is a stunning novel, one that I dove into and couldn t surface out of for a while It s like a pool of dark water that you don t really even want to get out of And I was sad when the book finished despite it being quite a violent and shaking experience I am not lying when I say I intend to read it again.This review is quite long, so I suggest reading it on my blog This Story Is What You Make Of It The most incredible aspect of Freshwater is that there are two ways to [...]


    7. It s hard to talk about something that has no precedent Freshwater is utterly unique, and the result is breathtaking It s a dark, sensual, and thoughtful novel about a young woman coming to terms with and accepting the multiple identities that define her.The details of Ada s life raised in Nigeria, relocated to the U.S for college are only an elemental framework for what is ultimately an introspective story The majority of this book is narrated by a chorus of Ada s selves conceptualize It s hard [...]


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