sankofa

Sankofa

by Rita Kusi
urban book review, urban book reviews, street lit reviews, review, hip hop, black, african americanurban book review, urban book reviews, street lit reviews, review, hip hop, black, african americanurban book review, urban book reviews, street lit reviews, review, hip hop, black, african americanurban book review, urban book reviews, street lit reviews, review, hip hop, black, african americanurban book review, urban book reviews, street lit reviews, review, hip hop, black, african american

Reviewed by: Reads4Pleasure
May 2010


Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing and beware of book synopsis’s that say one thing, but give you another. From reading the synopsis on the back of the book, I was under the assumption that Sankofa would be the story of four friends returning to their roots in Ghana to rediscover themselves.

“…four friends whose families won the Diversity Lotto Program in the late 1980’s and traveled from the tropical climate of Ghana, West Africa to New York City. No one said life in a new world was going to be easy, but no one also said it was going to be tricky either. How do you adapt to a new way of life while remaining true to the old?

Take the journey with the main character, Kimberly Akosua Mensah, as she makes the trip back home and attempts to reclaim her past to move forward to adulthood.”

Based on that, I was ready to read the story of perhaps these young girls making the initial adjustments as children and then skipping ahead to perhaps their teen or adult years. I was looking for conversations and interaction with family members more firmly rooted in the culture and the conflict that can come from becoming Americanized while your family remains Ghanaian. What I got was fooled into reading a book with pretty cover and an African title believing it would be enlightening when, in reality, it turned out to be street lit.

The four friends (and this term is used far too loosely in this book) are Kimberly, the narrator; Trish, the hustler who will use anyone or anything to get ahead; Staci, a new mother; and Courtney, the good girl that keeps picking bad boys. When Trish sleeps with Courtney’s boyfriend, the friends take sides and Kimberly is left out in the cold. Eventually the friends reconnect and Kimberly goes back to Ghana to visit her grandmother. That’s it, end of story.

This book bothered me on so many levels. At one point in the story the friends head for the annual Ghanaian picnic, with Staci’s baby in tow, and proceed to drink the entire time. The author justified it by saying the baby was too young to know what was happening. Never mind that it’s illegal to drink and drive and you’re putting people in harm’s way. Promoted as a reclamation of her past, the main character does not even return to Ghana until the last two chapters of the book. The first 137 pages of the 158 page book are spent talking about complete and utter foolishness.

Beyond the ridiculousness of the story line, the editing was absolutely awful. At times I found myself re-reading sentences several times trying to make sense of them, only to realize that there were actually three sentences combined into one, with absolutely no punctuation. The author also struggled to stay consistent with the voice of the narrator. In several instances the paragraph would start with Kimberly narrating in third person and by the second or third sentence, it would become one of the other women speaking in first person and then switch back to Kimberly’s narration.

The story line, the improper editing and the annoying narration all made this very short read a difficult and tedious one.

What did you like about this book?
The cover is colorful.

What did you dislike about this book?
The story line, the improper editing and the annoying narration.

What could the author do to improve this book?
Not everyone is meant to be a writer and this book is clearly an indication of that. If writing is her passion, then she would be well served to find a real editor. There were far too many grammatical and structural mistakes made. A good proofreader and/or editor would have never allowed this book to be published in its current state.


The views expressed in published reviews are solely those of the reviewer. The Urban Book Source cannot be held accountable. The information featured, represents that of the reviewer and not that of The Urban Book Source. The reviewer takes full responsibility for the information presented.

Comments page 1 of 1:
Click Here to Add a Comment
Rita Kusi :
Posted 2585 days ago
My Response to the Reviewer
I am very grateful you took your time to read my book but most importantly I appreciate your feedback. I am opened to all kinds of criticism whether it's positive or negative, either one will help me better my skills as a writer. I do not expect everyone to understand the avenue I took with this book but I will be more than happy and willing to explain. The one thing you mentioned that I would agree with is my editing. I did do most of it myself and should have known better because that is not my area, I am not an editor and it's obvious. As for the annoying narration, originally when I started writing Sankofa: Looking Back to Move Forward it was in both 1st and 3rd person. I could not decide which route I wanted to take which affected the finally decision to use a 1st person narration. I also wanted to tell the story from all four characters point of view but decided it would be best not to. I don't see how you could have expected the four friends to return to their roots when the synopsis clearly states "Take the journey with the main character, Kimberly Akosua Mensah, as she makes the trip back home and attempts to reclaim her past to move forward to adulthood." I could have taken a different route with the book and made it a biography, talking about my childhood, etc, but I didn't. I wanted to talk about extreme experiences and situations that one might go through after they lose themselves. It is impossible to think clearly when there is no sense of self. I have never, ever in my life rode in a vehicle where there was a child and alcohol involved. That is not to say that I have never drove under the influence, just not when there was a child’s life at stake. I do not condone drinking and driving but the reality of it is that it is happening everyday. Some of the experiences in the book are clearly fabricated and some are not. The return back to her roots was supposed to be the resolution for Kimberly’s problems and bring closure to her negative life style. It was a sign that she had finally found herself. My love for urban/street literature is what led me to write this kind of book. I do not regret it; however, if I could go back I would make some changes as far as editing is concerned. Again thank you for your feedback :-)
 




THE URBAN BOOK SOURCE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY COMMENTS THAT ARE POSTED. IF A COMMENT IS DEFAMATORY, PLEASE CONTACT US AND APPROPRIATE ACTION WILL BE TAKEN.
    B O O K   R E V I E W   R A T I N G   S Y S T E M




      More Reviews:

This Can't Be Life

Nude Awakening

A Life for A Life

The Ultimate Sacrifice II

Daughter of The Game

Deranged

The Loudest Silence

G Spot 2

The Trifecta

      [ More Book Reviews ]



 

 



ABOUT US:
Company Info
Privacy Policy
Disclaimer
Advertise
Resources

Contributors
Faq
WRITE-UPS:
Features

Interviews
Editorials
Reviews
Columns
Archives
MEDIA:
Video
Gallery
Audio
Store

COMMUNITY:
Message Board
Contests
Giveaways
PUBLIC RELATIONS:
Get Featured. Be Heard.
Submit Your Book
Review For Us
Book Checklist
Join Mailing List
Send Your Feedback
Contact Us
SOCIAL MEDIA:
Myspace
Facebook
Twitter
Blackplanet
YouTube

© 2005 - 2010 by The Urban Book Source, LLC