!Epub ⚖ Freshwater ♸ PDF or E-pub free

!Epub ☦ Freshwater ♳ An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born with one foot on the other side Unsettling, heartwrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of experiencing the world, one that illuminates how we all construct our identitiesAda begins her life in the south of Nigeria as a troubled baby and a source of deep concern to her family Her parents, Saul and Saachi, successfully prayed her into existence, but as she grows into a volatile and splintered child, it becomes clear that something went terribly awry When Ada comes of age and moves to America for college, the group of selves within her grows in power and agency A traumatic assault leads to a crystallization of her alternate selves As ghara and Saint Vincent As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these selves now protective, now hedonistic move into control, Ada s life spirals in a dark and dangerous directionNarrated by the various selves within Ada and based in the author s realities, Freshwater dazzles with ferocious energy and serpentine grace, heralding the arrival of a fierce new literary voice The world in my head has been farreal than the one outside maybe that s the exact definition of madness, come to think of it. Forceful and harrowing, Freshwater follows Ada, a young Nigerian girl, as she comes of age while contending with multiple personalities and prolonged trauma The nonlinear storyline tracks Ada as she endures a dysfunctional upbringing in Nigeria only to come into close contact with a series of violent men in America as a precocious college student it s told from the perspective of a host of spirits called ogbanje, who occupy the protagonist s body and exert strong control over her actions In l Forceful and harrowing, Freshwater follows Ada, a young Nigerian girl, as she comes of age while contending with multiple personalities and prolonged trauma The nonlinear storyline tracks Ada as she endures a dysfunctional upbringing in Nigeria only to come into close contact with a series of violent men in America as a precocious college student it s told from the perspective of a host of spirits called ogbanje, who occupy the protagonist s body and exert strong control over her actions In lyrical prose Emezi brings to life a talented but troubled mind, plagued by malevolent spirits who seek solace in disorder Incredibly imaginative, and well worth checking out and revisiting over the years This was absolutely stunning From the very first page I knew I was in for something extraordinary and unlike anything I have ever read This debut combines many things I adore in books unconventional framing and unreliable narrators, a story that gets recontextualized constantly and kept me on my toes, a basis in mythology that informed but did not over shadow the actual story, perfect sentence structure that packs an unbelievable punch, and so manythings that I am still struggling to ad This was absolutely stunning From the very first page I knew I was in for something extraordinary and unlike anything I have ever read This debut combines many things I adore in books unconventional framing and unreliable narrators, a story that gets recontextualized constantly and kept me on my toes, a basis in mythology that informed but did not over shadow the actual story, perfect sentence structure that packs an unbelievable punch, and so manythings that I am still struggling to adequately talk about.This is Ada s story, oraccurately Ada s and her other personalities story The first part is told in a we perspective from her alternate personalities, brothersisters based in Nigerian mythology, that frame her story in what that means to them rather than her The Ada, as she is called by them, then moves to the US where a traumatic events leads to a further fragmentation of self, As ghara and Saint Vincent who will take overandThese two selves are evendifferent to her than the brothersisters were and tend to wreck havoc in her life This description does not really do the book any justice becausethan a straightforward narrative, the story unfolds forward and backwards with things happening or not and is highly introspective As I was wondering about the timeline, Akwaeke Emezi pulled the rug under meoften than I could count, leaving my head spinning and my heart broken.I do not think I can do this book justice, but believe me when I say that this is an extraordinary achievement and unlike anything I read before This will for sure stay with me and keep me thinking for months to come.I received an arc of this book courtesy of NetGalley and Grove Press in exchange for an honest review You can find this review and other thoughts on my blog fulfilling my 2019 goal to read at least one book each month that i bought in hardcover and put off reading long enough that it is now in paperback.this is a fucking terrific book.now that that s out of the way a brief digression with two lessons at its core one for authors about how they should never let a bad review discourage them, and one for readers about how sometimes the wrong book can lead you to the right one i recently read emezi s soon to be released YA novel Pet, which has got fulfilling my 2019 goal to read at least one book each month that i bought in hardcover and put off reading long enough that it is now in paperback.this is a fucking terrific book.now that that s out of the way a brief digression with two lessons at its core one for authors about how they should never let a bad review discourage them, and one for readers about how sometimes the wrong book can lead you to the right one i recently read emezi s soon to be released YA novel Pet, which has gotten a ton of gushing prepub attention, and many five star reviews on here i thought it was fine but not my kind of great, so i gave it three stars, which is a perfectly good and respectable rating i know some authors who get all dispirited over their three star ratings and to be clear i am not suggesting that emezi is one of them , but to me, three stars means anywhere from okay to pretty good but just not my kind of great but, and here s where it s the readers turn to pay attention i bought Freshwater the day it came out because it seemed to be so exactly my kind of great dark and mythical and fierce, but then life and other books got in the way and i never got around to reading it so after being only medium about Pet, i finally decided to read Freshwater, to see if i was right about my own tastes, and here we are.this book is ferocious and fast paced and under 300 pages, but there s an emotional weight to it that requires you to consciously stop yourself from tearing through so you can slow down and appreciate it the writing is beautiful and the what of it is a multilayered mindfuck which suggests several equally satisfying interpretive conclusions that, due to the stylistic decisions, do not oddly conflict with each other or cancel each other out at its most cliffs notes, it s about identity and the divided self whether that division is the result of a nonbinary gender identity, mental illness, psychic fracturing as a PTSD related coping mechanism, or just you know a bunch of pesky ogbanje inhabiting your human skin alongside you, is a distinction not irrelevant, necessarily, just that it all looks pretty similar from the outside an inconsistency of behavior, a fluid sense of self.on the inside, it s incredibly psychologically dislocating and their writing really conveys the feeling of being caged in the human body with an other it s claustrophobic, where ada is at times helpless, at times complicit or grateful for someone thing else taking over the demands of the body, even when it is used in a self destructive manner it s ambiguous, symbolic, metaphorical, deeply distressing the interpretation is as fluid and chaotic as anything else in the book, including its writing style, which reminded me a lot of God Head a book that was so vividly able to replicate the inner landscape of a mental disorder this one plays rough there is a lot of trauma in these pages cutting, eating disorders, sexual assault and abuse, depression, suicide, etc.the idea of cutting as a means of making blood sacrifices to supernatural entities, scars serving as physical evidence of devotion, was not something i have seen explored elsewhere and was particularly powerful and oddly lovely We understood It is like we said when gods awaken in you, sometimes you carve yourself up to satisfy them.there s an emphasis on the body throughout, on the idea of transformation of cutting skin, hair, view spoiler removing unwanted breasts hide spoiler , of starving it down to size, on letting it explore its sexuality with different genders and through experiences motivated by love, by hatred, curiosity, boredom the soft fragile shell of the human body battered by the appetites of gods it s a scenario with so much promise, and one that i remember being excited by in anne rice s The Tale of the Body Thief, which conceptual potential ended up being squandered in what was basically boring erotica here, it s gorgeous and cruel and profound love love loved it.here is a thing i wrote about it for a project in which i participated, which is pretty much what i said about it here, only with all those capital letters people make you use when you re being a professional person A compelling and oftentimes disturbing debut with autobiographical overtones in which trans, non binary author Emezi borrows from African mythology to construct a narrative about identity and the divided self, using the inhabiting spirits called ogbanje from their Nigerian homeland to mimic the claustrophobic experience of being just one of many entities contained within a human shell, and not always the dominant one The ogbanje gain and cede power, resulting in a fluidity in terms of the body s gender identity, sexual orientation, and degree of promiscuity an inconsistency of personality that presents as mental disorder or instability It is a fever dream of a story, narrated by the different spirits crowding a young woman s body, and it is emotionally moving and frequently jarring, not only for its fast pacing and trading off control of the body and mind, but for the powerful and painfully triggering inclusion of scenes depicting self harm, mental illness, eating disorders, cutting, sexual assault and abuse, and PTSD 4 1 2 starscome to my blog 5 DEBUT DedicationTo those of uswith one footon the other side By the time she our body struggled out into the world, slick and louder than a village of storms, the gates were left open We should have been anchored in her by then, asleep inside her membranes and synched with her mind That would have been the safest way But since the gates were open, not closed against remembrance, we became confused We were at once old and newborn We were her and yet not We were not conscious bu 5 DEBUT DedicationTo those of uswith one footon the other side By the time she our body struggled out into the world, slick and louder than a village of storms, the gates were left open We should have been anchored in her by then, asleep inside her membranes and synched with her mind That would have been the safest way But since the gates were open, not closed against remembrance, we became confused We were at once old and newborn We were her and yet not We were not conscious but we were alive in fact, the main problem was that we were a distinct WE instead of being fully and just HER Outstanding, mesmerising, poetically macabre and believably unbelievable The Ada , as her captive spirits refer to her, is never alone Her constant mental companions are spirits which should have been able to possess and influence her and then come and go at will, through the gates, across the bridge But not these mischievous, evil beings The gods closed the gates behind them, so they lead The Ada into all sorts of trouble, both in Nigeria where she was born, and which has a tradition of ogbanje possessing children, and in the US when her family migrates.The ogbanje are reminiscent of the scary faeries at the bottom of the garden Ireland s Little People who steal children and some adults and leave changelings in their place , the witches of the witch trials, poltergeists, and malevolent voodoo spirits She befriends a girl familiar with the voodoo traditions, too.Ada grows up, and a little like the well known The Three Faces Of Eve, has a split personality, influenced not only by the first two WE who were born with her, but also by a wild and naughty girl, Asughara, who is born when Ada first has sex A real troublemaker, but sometimes Ada enjoys the excuse to cut loose.Speaking of cutting, she does that, too, feeding her demons, as it were The only way they can enjoylives is to escape this life and cross back over, as they were supposed to do But remember The gates closed behind them, so you know what that means Who s the bridge Their host body, that s who, and while Ada Asughara bounces from lover to anorexia to psychiatric ward and back again, they all have conversations with her, and they may even hug her somehow Sometimes she feels safest inside with them.She survives the American college experience, the club scene, pubs, you name it She they have an active social and love life and don t miss much It s a wonderful read and I found it absolutely compelling I especially enjoyed this author s thank you to award winning Nigerian author, Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie Chimamanda Adichie, for the Farafina Creative Writing Workshop and the ripples from that For that moment when I started to tell you about the book and you tilted your head, looked at me, and said, Ah, so you re an ogbanjeEmezi obviously got it right AND THIS IS A DEBUT Thanks to NetGalley and Grove Press for the review copy from which I ve quoted, so quotes may be changed This isn t due for publication until February 2018 but is available on NetGalley until then, so I m posting my review early to encourage other reviewers to have a look.UPDATE 4 fresh, imaginative stars to Freshwater The most creative book I ve read this year I have read nothing like Freshwater before It is hard to categorize It is literary fiction, but what else Magical realism Mysticism The author noted at the end that this was her spiritual book, so I will go with spiritual literary fiction I went with the literal flow while I was reading Freshwater could be murky, even incoherent, at times Ada was born in Nigeria, a difficult baby with a fractur 4 fresh, imaginative stars to Freshwater The most creative book I ve read this year I have read nothing like Freshwater before It is hard to categorize It is literary fiction, but what else Magical realism Mysticism The author noted at the end that this was her spiritual book, so I will go with spiritual literary fiction I went with the literal flow while I was reading Freshwater could be murky, even incoherent, at times Ada was born in Nigeria, a difficult baby with a fractured self What transpired is hard to describe but as Ada grew up, the selves within her grew stronger andpowerful Ada took the backseat, while her alternative selves were in charge, and her life became dangerous and volatile I do not want to spoil anything, so I am keeping this review brief This is a novel, the layers, the writing, you have to experience for yourself Keep your expectations loose, your mind open If you enjoy gorgeous prose with profound messages of healing, hope, and truth, Freshwater is a most worthy read Thank you to Akwaeke Emezi I m eagerly awaiting your next wondrous work , Grove Atlantic, and Netgalley Edelweiss for the complimentary copy It s hard to talk about something that has no precedent Freshwater is utterly unique, and the result is breathtaking It s a dark, sensual, and thoughtful novel about a young woman coming to terms with and accepting the multiple identities that define her.The details of Ada s life raised in Nigeria, relocated to the U.S for college are only an elemental framework for what is ultimately an introspective story The majority of this book is narrated by a chorus of Ada s selves conceptualize It s hard to talk about something that has no precedent Freshwater is utterly unique, and the result is breathtaking It s a dark, sensual, and thoughtful novel about a young woman coming to terms with and accepting the multiple identities that define her.The details of Ada s life raised in Nigeria, relocated to the U.S for college are only an elemental framework for what is ultimately an introspective story The majority of this book is narrated by a chorus of Ada s selves conceptualized as Nigerian ogbanje until a traumatic assault in college causes two of these selves to take shape, as As ghara and Saint Vincent.What I found so stimulating about this novel is that it challenged a lot of my conceptions about health and identity, particularly in how these are often so heavily informed by western culture The perceived objectivity of psychology is something I ve always found comforting and taken for granted, but with this book, I m reminded of the significance of the relationship between culture and identity Steeped in Igbo folklore, Freshwater chronicles Ada s journey and Emezi s, as the book is informed by a lot of autobiographical elements in a way that s challenging, unexpected, and beautiful.Emezi s prose is so assured and lyrical it s hard to believe this is a debut This is an author to watch and a novel that absolutely everyone should read Thank you to Netgalley, Grove Press, and Akwaeke Emezi for the advanced copy provided in exchange for an honest review. It s not easy to persuade a human to end their life they re very attached to it, even when it makes them miserable, and Ada was no different But it s not the decision to cross back that s difficult it s the crossing itself.Akwaeke Emezi s Freshwater is a novel of layers that do not always nicely overlap in fact, the pieces often seem to not fit together at all It is a novel born from trauma and emotional paroxysms, a read that erupts with them throughout You have to peel back the layers t It s not easy to persuade a human to end their life they re very attached to it, even when it makes them miserable, and Ada was no different But it s not the decision to cross back that s difficult it s the crossing itself.Akwaeke Emezi s Freshwater is a novel of layers that do not always nicely overlap in fact, the pieces often seem to not fit together at all It is a novel born from trauma and emotional paroxysms, a read that erupts with them throughout You have to peel back the layers to get to what Emezi has laid underneath, to find the gems, to find the hidden well of pain and sentiment offered here, and that may not be a satisfying journey for many readers Freshwater is the story of Ada, a young Nigerian woman with a fractured self, or multiple personalities, due to the gods who have mistakenly taken root in her body and mind It is a dark novel portraying the malevolence within us that darkness at the very deepest depths of us that we hope to never have to witness of ourselves or in others It is a novel that portrays the psychological effects of such darkness and emotional violence When Ada comes into adulthood and leaves her splintered home for a new existence in a Virginia college, a traumatic sexual experience further shatters her mind and her multiple personalities are born Ada fights a battle between herself, her other selves and her God she left behind, a battle to regain her equilibrium that veers her onto a dangerous course of self destructive behavior A path of bloodshed, tears and an equal dose of sexual trauma and exploration Ada fights with herself, realizing something is wrong She wants a change but her other personalities refuse to let her go Let me tell you now, I loved her because in the moment of her devastation, the moment she lost her mind, that girl reached for me so hard that she went completely mad, and I loved her because when I flooded through, she spread herself open and took me in without hesitation, bawling and broken, she absorbed me fiercely, all the way she denied me nothing I loved her because she gave me a name Freshwater was a novel that took a lot of patience for me to read If you re a reader who clings to continuity, who needs progressive character development to follow the path a protagonist s life, or a reader who is in the least bit squeamish, this will likely prove to be a difficult read for you Not an unworthy read but a difficult one The narrative leapt back and forth in time with new personalities and overlapping stories already told being retold differently This book was a collage, a kaleidoscope, a reflection of a splintered self Given the subject matter, the shattered quality of the narrative is understandable but at times arduous to read.It was hard for me to fully connect with Freshwater when the moments of truth, heartbreak and the demise of entire relationships in Ada s life were narrated, not fully shown in action Emezi s debut novel isabout the relationship between Ada and her other selves internally than it is about her outward experiences in the world view spoiler For example, though we follow her through college and beyond, I have no idea what career she worked or if she even held a job at all There was little to no mention of these small intricacies that paint a broader picture of the narrative for the reader This was not always a convincing examination or an immersive portrayal of the events in Ada s life Whole story lines just ended, never to be resolved hide spoiler It wasn t enough for me, though some parts of the novel were absolutely gripping, and there were some lovely lines scattered throughout He wanted to pretend he was somehow better than he knew he was he wasn t ready to throw himself into sin Humans find it easier to just lie and lie to themselves.However, in those neglected moments which is probably why the book is relatively short the novel loses its soul and misses opportunities.Other qualms The quote headings at the start of each chapter made no sense to me in the context of the story Often, they made no sense to me at all though I got the feeling that they were Nigerian sayings And I had too many WTF moments here because of the haphazard way life events and realizations were thrown into the narrative, no build up, just dumped I found myself reading whole passages and thinking,Where did this come from outta thin airThat was the main issue I had with this novel there was no real character development aside from Ada and Ewan, just a series of narrations and events I also never understood the title of the book There was a reference to it at the end of the novel, but I found it to be too cryptic and unclear, so I still have no idea what it was trying to convey, why it was the namesake of the book Because of this, I had the noteworthy experience of loving and hating Freshwater There were moments where I couldn t wait to turn the page and others where I skimmed past the incoherence of the We Because of that, Freshwater s dazzling and dreadful moments condensed down into a grade of 3 stars overall I received an advance read copy of the book from the publisher, Grove Press, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.FOLLOW ME HERE Goodreads Twitter Instagram Get a Copy of My Book Book Editing, Author Coaching, Submit Your Book to Me How to review this, how to review thisThe first 50 pages or so of this book were really tough for me I felt like I was physically fighting the book, trying to wrestle it into submission After the initial struggle, I fell into a somewhat uneasy rhythm with the story but I never quite managed to embrace it I can appreciate it somewhat remotely as a very original and inspired work of art, but it stirs very little depth of feeling or emotion in me This seems to be an allegorical narr How to review this, how to review thisThe first 50 pages or so of this book were really tough for me I felt like I was physically fighting the book, trying to wrestle it into submission After the initial struggle, I fell into a somewhat uneasy rhythm with the story but I never quite managed to embrace it I can appreciate it somewhat remotely as a very original and inspired work of art, but it stirs very little depth of feeling or emotion in me This seems to be an allegorical narrative about mental illness, sexual identity and other ways in which a person might feel other The story is narrated by various selves contained within Ada, who apparently suffers from multiple personality disorder The selves express themselves as gods called ogbanje They contend with each other inside Ada s mind, with other gods outside of Ada that they refer to as brothersisters, and with Ada herself It s a funky scene, starting with Ada s birth in Nigeria to her adulthood in the US.The writing is very dense and lofty well written and imaginative for sure, but tedious at the same time It just all felt too much, too much, too much.I d rate this as a 3.5, but am rounding down because, for me, it waschore than pleasure Don t let my lukewarm review stop you from reading this book it has gotten stellar reviews from my most trusted Goodreads friends Sometimes books just don t speak to you, no matter how skillful the execution and the talents of the writer.Thanks to NetGalley and Grove Press for an ARC of this novel My review, however, is based on the hardcover version