Dear Ijeawele is a series of questions that Chimamanda writes to her friend as a guide to raising her daughter. It’s a very short read. It will take you a couple of hours to finish reading and reflecting on it if you don’t have a busy day doing things in between. The book is neither character nor plot-driven.
This book was a stumble upon. A friend of mine shared it with me and a couple of other friends who are raising girls, late last year.
The concept of feminism was refreshed in me and I was inspired to share these suggestions with my daughters as they grow up. I may not do all the suggestions but I will certainly teach my daughters those that really stood out for me.
With regard to the writing style, it was captivating and unique and came with a certain sense of authority. For those of us who were socialized to accept and act upon gender roles, it will take a bit of time to unlearn. For example this quote:
I personally grew up being told that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. So while dating one of the things girls do especially when the relationship gets to a serious stage is do her best to ensure her culinary skills are on point.
Another thing that I need to unlearn and this will take great efforts is people’s opinions.
This wonderful short read will stay with me for a long time to come. It is a book I will be re-reading from time to time just to remind myself and my daughter’s certain truths about women and relationships.