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Summary

Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019

Feeling explodes through the language of this scalding novel, heralding the arrival of a fierce new literary voice.

Ada was born with one foot on the other side. Having prayed her into existence, her parents, Saul and Saachi, struggle to deal with the volatile and contradictory spirits peopling their troubled girl. 

When Ada comes of age and heads to college, the entities within her grow in power and agency. An assault leads to a crystallization of her selves: Asughara and Saint Vincent. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these selves - now protective, now hedonistic - seize control of Ada, her life spirals in a dark and dangerous direction. 

Narrated from the perspectives of the various selves within Ada, and based in the author's realities, Freshwater explores the metaphysics of identity and being.

©2018 Akwaeke Emezi (P)2018 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

Critic reviews

"Sheer perfection: sexy, sensual, spiritual, wise. One of the most dazzling debuts I've ever read." (Taiye Selasi Guardian Best Books 2017)

What listeners say about Freshwater

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Mindblowing seems a little on the nose..

This book is incredible in every way. The mood it maintains, the imagery of the mind it creates is fantastic. It's fiction with so much real life relatability. It's beyond creative. Just listen. Go buy and listen.

6 people found this helpful

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Fascinating read

This is an intriguing read, and I have to admit I struggled to follow what was happening as I’m not familiar with the concept of the ogbanje. The writing is rich enough that I was happy to listen and let it wash over me when I wasn’t quite following it. A difficult but rewarding read.

5 people found this helpful

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rich, deep, absolute: a gift from the Emezi's

I haven't yet finished this book,
and it will take me a while. This book is so rich, such depth i am submerged in Akwaeke's words.
This family is full of gifts to give.

4 people found this helpful

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Utter Perfection

As a white British woman, I want to ask you to read the reviews from Igbo women members on here, anything I could say is worthless.

3 people found this helpful

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Wow!

I thoroughly enjoyed this piece of ambrosia...as an Igbo woman, I salute the story and the "other" perspective it offered. I felt like I'd listened to 5 hours of high quality poetry. This writer has a very illustrious future ahead of her; watch this space! Well done Akwaeze!

3 people found this helpful

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INCREDIBLE

I was so captivated by this book. I love how it was written and love most that Akwaeke narrated it herself on audible. The igbo was fresh and the stories rang true! Shout out to all the Niger wive kids doing their thing!

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing, original, beautiful, difficult

Loved this. Such a powerful and beautiful voice. I found it hard to follow initially, but the lyrical quality of the words made it easy to listen to and when I locked into it, I was blown away.

1 person found this helpful

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Fascinating

loved it, all the way through
highly recommended. thank you for sharing
great listen
g

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Wonderful

Have read this twice and now listened on Audible, and I love it more each time. Beautiful and challenging.

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I beg to differ

I was intrigued by the rave reviews and didn't hesitate to download, expecting it so be on a par with some of the brilliant African novels I have listened to recently. But honestly it is nowhere near the quality of writing and the narration is abrasive. I seriously recommend looking into Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Chigozie Obioma. In my view they are masterful where this isn't.