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Reading The Ceiling

3.5 (1883)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Reading The Ceiling.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Dayo Forster(Author)

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4.4 (11987)
  • Pdf

*An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

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Required Software Any PDF Reader, Apple Preview
Supported Devices Windows PC/PocketPC, Mac OS, Linux OS, Apple iPhone/iPod Touch.
# of Devices Unlimited
Flowing Text / Pages Pages
Printable? Yes

Book details

  • PDF | 288 pages
  • Dayo Forster(Author)
  • Pocket Books (2008)
  • English
  • 7
  • Literature & Fiction

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Review Text

  • By Friederike Knabe on May 10, 2009

    On her eighteenth birthday, Ayodele decides, she will not only have a great party at the best disco in town, she will also choose a one-off mate to take her from childhood to womanhood. It is an empowering feeling and the choice is hers, not common in her society at that time. First-time Gambian novelist Dayo Forster has written a lively, fast paced and delightful novel built around an intriguing concept: three different scenarios unfold for her life, depending on the man she chooses for that fateful night...As she runs through the list of potentials, the reader is given a first glimpse into her life and world. Ayodele, or Dele for short, lives in Banjul, the capital of Gambia, that small costal nation hugging the river Gambia and sandwiched in between Senegal. It is an English speaking country in the sea of francophone ones. Dele is an intelligent girl and has already decided to move on to university either in Dakar, Senegal or, if she can get a grant, to England or elsewhere. She is dreaming of the wonderful life as an adult. Maybe, even her strict mother will finally respect and recognize her for who she is. Her mother, abandoned by the father of her three girls, struggles to make ends meet. She is one of the constant characters in the three versions of Dele's life, very traditional in her outlook and a contrast to Dele's favourite aunt, the unconventional Aunt Kiki. The younger siblings have an important role to play as have Dele's circle of girlfriends, although they could be affected in their own future by the heroine's actions.Forster develops each of the three life options with great enthusiasm, imagining a different future in each which will follow Ayodele to late middle age: She could marry the chosen one, settle down and struggle not to repeat her mother's life; she could pursue her studies abroad, see the world and become successful; she could deeply fall in love... or live through a combination of those and other options. As we follow the three life stories, we build a very rich picture of not only life in Gambia, but also learn of the many challenges young women all over Africa still face today.Dele is, not surprisingly, the strongest developed character in this mosaic of people. From one scenario to the next, we come across other characters again and again, providing the novel a certain level of continuity and cohesion. Forster has a refreshing style full of fun images that are, while unusual, easy to understand. A very enjoyable read indeed. [Friederike Knabe]

  • By keetmom on March 7, 2017

    Dayo Forster has composed a very clever narrative running a coming of age novel in sequence through three alternative futures for one young woman, rather than having three characters growing up in parallel lives. There is heartbreak and humour as Ayodele lives through her different lives and lots to learn and value about life in Gambia and the wider African diaspora. A simple, but extremely thought provoking read. It has you asking some big questions about your own life and what really drove you to where you are - fortune, fate or your own choices?

  • By sally tarbox on February 8, 2016

    As the novel opens on narrator Ayodele's 18th birthday, I thought this was going to be a YA tale. Discos, the opposite sex and deciding on a future occupy the young people:"We knot ourselves into a drift of conversations, starting and ebbing. University crops up again. And what we intend to do with our lives. We talk about the moon, about whether mermaids will come this far up the river, about crocodiles and oysters."Ayodele is planning to take a lover and is preparing a short-list of likely candidates....The fascinating structure of this work is that Forster gives us THREE stories of how Ayodele's life turns out, long-term, depending on the choices she makes; the men, the career options, religion, motherhood... And of course, much of life is down to fate and extraneous events.As the stories move on to Ayodele's middle age, I found this quite a mopving and thought-provoking novel.An easy-read but enjoyable and worthwhile.

  • By S.A.I on April 9, 2009

    Dayo Forster has outstanding penmanship. Her descriptions are vivid and bright and the food that litters the pages will leave your belly growling and your nose sniffing for hot, spicy food that is not there.Her debut novel has the soul of a poet stamped all over the pages. However, great poetry does not usually translate into great prose. In this case, it instead comes off as jerky, jarring sentences no matter how beautiful. I wanted to get a sense of contemporary Gambian culture from this book and I did get it superficially but not deeply like say Brick Lane which although set in England gives you an adequate sense of the Bangladeshi immigrant experience.The story is confusing therefore you may want to read the back cover before you begin or if you start to say 'huh?' somewhere in the middle.

  • By Elizabeth on August 19, 2011

    I ordered Reading the Ceiling and I was very happy to receive the book in a timely fashion and without incident. Also, it is a great book- I enjoyed it a lot!


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