Under The Udala Trees
This compelling read has emotional angst and solid writing. Ijeoma is an 11 year old Igbo girl whose father dies just as the Nigerian Civil War gets underway. She’s sent off to be a servant for a family where she meets Amina, an orphan girl from a different ethnic tribe. They become good friends and then something more. But Nigeria has strict laws against homosexuality and there’s no acceptance of their relationship. When Ijeoma’s religious mother finds out, she pressures her to marry a man and have children. What does it mean when your love needs to be a secret? That question drives the girls to make difficult decisions, as Ijeoma wrestles with societal expectations vs. being true to herself.