In this memoir, about a house his father built, Adewale Maja-Pearce captures the essence of the last decade of the 20th Century. He paints, in the minutest of detail, the sense of transition, of inevitable change, of frustration at its slow pace. The reader, while focused on the small details, is coerced to lean back, and take in the big picture.
"But all that was a long time ago now, longer than the time it took me to dislodge the Alhaji and Ngozi and Pepsi, and longer again since my father died, the man who had willed me the house he built that made it all possible. I have written about him elsewhere. I had my problems with him; he had his problems with me. One of them was that I wanted to be a writer, not a physician, an incomprehensible decision which kept us estranged for years. The irony was that Nigeria was all that engaged me as a writer, which was why his gift was so apt, even if he hadn't imagined it that way."