The lives of two Nigerian women divided by class and social inequality intersect when they're kidnapped, held captive, and forced to await their fate together.
In the Nigerian city of Enugu, young Nwabulu, a housemaid since the age of ten, dreams of becoming a typist as she endures her employers’ endless chores. She is tall and beautiful and in love with a rich man’s son.
Educated and privileged, Julie is a modern woman. Living on her own, she is happy to collect the gold jewellery lovestruck Eugene brings her, but has no intention of becoming his second wife.
When a kidnapping forces Nwabulu and Julie into a dank room years later, the two women relate the stories of their lives as they await their fate.
Pulsing with vitality and intense human drama, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia’s debut is set against four decades of vibrant Nigeria, celebrating the resilience of women as they navigate and transform what remains a man’s world.
WINNER of the Best International Fiction Book Award, Sharjah International Book Fair 2019
Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia is a lawyer, academic, and writer. She holds a doctorate in law from Dalhousie University and works in the areas of health, gender, and violence against women and children. Cheluchi divides her time between Lagos and Halifax.
The Son of the House draws you in slowly and keeps you wondering ... a page-turning, eye-opening, full-of-drama read with a surprise ending.
Onyemelukwe-Onuobia's book immerses you fully in a Nigerian culture with the words and context faithfully glued to it... If you are going to read any new book on Nigeria, this one is it.
The Son of the House is filled with drama and loss and hope, weaving together the lives of these women who help each other navigate the patriarchal society that threatens to smother them.... Onyemelukwe-Onuobia leaves the readers with no choice but to identify with these women, to understand them and to feel their pain. It’s beautifully written and intimate; an incredible first novel and hopefully the first of many.
An inspiring story of two indomitable women who find ways to rise above the limitations imposed by a repressive society.
The Son of the House is a powerful voice-driven novel that draws from fables and Nollywood to create a moving portrait of female friendship, diverted dreams, and heavy grief ... powerful and nuanced feminist fiction.
Onyemelukwe-Onuobia's intimate study of the issues facing contemporary Nigeria resonates, and her masterly storytelling makes this consistently entertaining. The result is as moving as it is thought-provoking.
Descriptive and thought-provoking, with exquisite storytelling, this is the kind of literature I believe is vital for us to understand the lives of someone other than ourselves.
A powerful and intimate narrative of bravery, of overcoming personal injustice, and having the strength to face difficult truths about oneself.
The Son of the House is a compelling novel about two women caught in a constricting web of tradition, class, gender, and motherhood.