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The God Child Reviews

The God Child by Nana Oforiatta Ayim

The God Child

Nana Oforiatta Ayim

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Bloomsbury Circus
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication date: 14 Nov 2019
ISBN: 9781408882429
  • The GuardianBook of the Day
3 stars out of 5
Sarah Ladipo Manyika
27 Dec 2019

" Ayim does an admirable job of capturing the dynamics of a splintered family and ... fractured sense of identity"

While Ayim does an admirable job of capturing the dynamics of a splintered family and Maya’s fractured sense of identity, the novel’s frequent leaps between place and time are often made at the expense of plot and the exploration of character motivation. ... The lacunas in plot and character development are particularly frustrating given how well Ayim handles other aspects of the story. To date, there are only a few works of fiction that explore the African experience within continental Europe and just a handful address the Afro-German experience, so Ayim’s book is important in helping to fill this gap. As we hear Maya pondering Goethe’s idea of Weltliteratur and reflecting on just how lacking world literature actually is, books such as The God Child have the potential to enrich it and, in Berger’s words, bring new ways of seeing.


3 stars out of 5
Sarah Gilmartin
30 Nov 2019

"Intriguing debut about life as a Ghanaian immigrant"

The book works better when dealing with these themes through character. Kojo’s view on England, for example, is completely convincing after his experiences: “It’s a cold wet third world country, but they made us think they were all powerful.” So too are Maya’s views on identity and immigrant life, handed down by the oracle of her mother: “I thought of the stories my mother had told me of my birth into this pale-moon world: white-blonde nurses, white corridors, white walls, white floors in the children’s ward of the Marienkrankenhaus in Bad Godesberg. And amongst all the harsh whiteness, the soft brown skin, dark brown hair and brown screams from my brown-pinkish mouth.”