Friday, October 30, 2009

Review: Oprah Book Club "An Ex-Mas Feast" by Uwem Akpan

An Ex-Mas Feast is the first story of the short story collection in Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan.

This is the story of a poor, homeless family living in Africa in deplorable conditions. The family rely on their 12 year old daughter who turns to the streets to work and raise money to provide for her family. Her younger siblings including her 8 year old brother ,who narrates the story, also work the streets and beg and steal for money and food. My heart went out to this family trying to survive and the ways they do so is heartbreaking. This story emphasizes the the victims of the plight of poverty in Africa and how they survive. It opened my eyes to a lifestyle that is unimaginable but is reality in this world. I think it's important to read stories like this to open our eyes to what is happening in the world even though it's uncomfortable to read about and even though we may not personally be affected by it.

This is an Oprah Book Club Selection , here is a video with some thoughts Oprah shares about the first story.

*This book is my own personal copy. I am an Amazon Associate.


  1. I agree with you about reading stories like this. I think it's easy to get used to the comforts we have and to want more being complete unaware of the depths of poverty other people live in and the deplorable conditions they withstand day after day. This sounds like a difficult, tough read emotionally yet it is also inspiring how strong the family and especialy the daughter is. I can't imagine how awful it must be for the parents to send your daughter to the streets to support the family.

    Thank you for writing about this book

  2. I thought all of the stories in this book were good, but difficult to read.


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