Book review – Silent Symphonies

Many women have suffered much because of centuries-old societal brainwashing into a culture of male dominance and female submission. If, like me, you’re an American

Women's empowerment from a multicultural viewpoint

Women’s empowerment from a multicultural viewpoint

baby boomer female, you’ve very likely lived through some of that yourself, even if you didn’t recognize it at the time. Countless books have been written about the topic over the generations—not least of which are the brilliant novels of Jane Austen, who coolly chronicles the controlling rules, crushingly limited expectations and cruel ironies of being female in such a world.

Recently received a review copy of another, though far less nuanced, voice adding to the ongoing exposé. Nigerian-born, UK-based writer Sally Chiwuzie has created a novel in her unique voice that addresses the subjugation and eventual empowerment of a woman who starts in an abusive marriage and ends as a single mother. The subtext is that multicultural couples often face even more of the domestic violence and unrealistic expectations that are present in so many relationships.

Chiwuzie, trained in the law, writes from the heart; though fiction, the story is based on many of her own and her friends’ experiences. The way the characters think and act reveals them as multicultural—they don’t sound or behave quite like Americans or Brits, so if you should pick it up, be prepared for what felt like some surprises in the language and the thought processes. Chiwuzie has also started an online campaign, Together We Are Unshakable,” with the goal of helping women become empowered. Can’t say I found the story overly compelling, but her goal is certainly admirable. Check out the website for your own insights.


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