Monday, May 11, 2009

Review: A Worthy Legacy by Tomi Akinyanmi

book 6 of 10 for the Orbis Terrarum 09 Challenge
genre: non-fiction/inspiration

Imagine: a village in Nigeria. A family has gathered around a beloved grandfather in his home as he uses his last moments to share with his wives, children and grandchildren all the wisdom he has gained through pondering and through experience. Tomi, this author of this book, is one of those beloved grandchildren and A Worthy Legacy is a collection she has made of those thoughts and inspirations that her grandfather gleaned from a long and full life.

I love how Tomi set up the story and my only complaint is that I wanted more about her life in Nigeria! She did a beautiful job describing some of the rituals and traditions that surround the ending of life. But, that wasn't her main point, as I understood after reading it. She wanted to put her grandfather's knowledge into the world's hands, to hopefully provide even just one person the strength to find renewed dignity or to choose to put their life on a better path.

What I am appreciating, now that I am letting his thoughts mull around in my mind, is that he and I, two completely different people who have led absolutely different lives on opposite sides of this planet - we believe the same things about how to live a good life. This elderly gentleman who grew up in a Nigerian village wanted to teach his children the same things that I want to teach mine. His simple words never startled me or surprised me - the writing is not lyrical or jubilant or complex. You merely come away from the book knowing that Tomi's grandfather left this life knowing what was worth caring about - and that if we read closely, we might be tempted to look for that same knowledge ourselves.


bermudaonion said...

I absolutely adore the cover of that book - I'm glad to hear the books is good too.

bethany (dreadlock girl) said...

thanks for a heads up on this one friend!

Diane said...

The cover is amazing!

One Swede Read said...

"two completely different people who have led absolutely different lives on opposite sides of this planet - we believe the same things about how to live a good life"Very nicely put! One of many good reasons to read literature not from your own country. Thanks for writing the review.

/Eva - fellow OT-er

Anna said...

Sounds like an interesting story, and I'm with everyone the cover!

Diary of an Eccentric

Tomi Akinyanmi said...

Thanks for the review Corinne. I'm delighted at the comments on the cover.

Steve Capell said...

I started reading this book and it now sets on my bookshelf. This book is an easy read in one evening and I am glad I read this book as it emphasized many of my moral beliefs. I wouldn’t say that this book is written from a religious perspective; however, the core moral fabric that most religions are based on comes through in a very non preaching manner.

In the preface Tomi Akinyanmi worte:

Born of fruit of our words.
And like seeds, they could be dispersed.
Your outlet could be your tongue.
As for me, I have chosen the pen.”

I found this book full of seeds of wisdom, love, happiness, power, life, and death all written by her pen and sprinkled with her poetry. Some books I have read really grips at the heart … this is one of them! I am glad some of Tomi’s seeds have been planted in my inner soul.

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