An unexpected loss leads a young woman on a soul-searching journey to reconnect with Nigerian family and find herself.
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Why I love it
Author, How to Fail at Flirting
When I first read The Sweetest Remedy, I told Jane Igharo that the book would have readers calling their families, updating their wardrobes, and looking for their passports. Igharo’s sophomore novel is a transportive story that takes readers around the world and into the arms of a big, complicated, and lovable family.
When Hannah’s estranged father dies, she finds herself on her way to Nigeria to mourn the man she never knew alongside the relatives she’s never met—and who have mixed feelings about her presence. In the chaos leading up to the funeral, Hannah gets to know the Jolade family, experiencing resentment, friendship, and belonging along with a romantic relationship with a close family friend. As Hannah begins to learn the full story of her father, she learns it’s one of old mistakes, new misunderstandings, and years of lost moments to make up for. Igharo’s twists and surprises will keep you turning pages.
I loved reading about how Hannah navigated complicated relationships and how all the characters experienced grief, love, and surprises that shook their foundations. Igharo’s characters are vibrant, and she’s crafted them in such a way that they feel both like glamorous celebrities and also like my own siblings and cousins. In that way, this read is comforting. Even in the middle of the tension and conflict, the sense of family is always there, because ultimately that’s what The Sweetest Remedy is about: the family we know, the family we find, and the family we are yet to meet.
Hannah Bailey has never known her father, the Nigerian entrepreneur who had a brief relationship with her white mother. Because of this, Hannah has always felt uncertain about part of her identity. When her father dies, she's invited to Nigeria for the funeral. Though she wants to hate the man who abandoned her, she's curious about who he was and where he was from. Searching for answers, Hannah boards a plane to Lagos, Nigeria.
In Banana Island, one of Nigeria's most affluent areas, Hannah meets the Jolades, her late father's prestigious family—some who accept her and some who think she doesn't belong. The days leading up to the funeral are chaotic, but Hannah is soon shaped by secrets that unfold, a culture she never thought she would understand or appreciate, and a man who steals her heart and helps her to see herself in a new light.
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