Roses and Bullets By Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo

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    Our past is our past, be it gory or glorious. It is the pathway that leads to the future. Literature, as a laboratory where life – past, present or yet to come – is examined, plays a momentous role. The worst thing people can do is to live in denial. Wars are recurrent features of the history of peoples all over the world. What is most amazing is that love is best engendered by tumultuous situations like wars. In Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo’s novel, Roses and Bullets, published earlier this year by Jalaa Writer’s Collective, war “genesises” both the birth and the death of love.

    The lives of many are turned apart by the civil war that broke between Nigeria and Biafra. While things are falling apart, Eloka and Ginika find love in each other. They seal their love when they get married as man and wife. The center holds until young men start being forcefully recruited into the Biafran army. Eloka and many other young men are recruited. Even young Udo gets a feel of the battlefront. With the desire to escape the harsh criticism of her mother-in-law, Ginika attends a gig with a friend. An officer drugs her and has carnal knowledge of her. She gets pregnant for the “faceless” officer. The child dies. Ginika loses almost all: her in-laws; her family and friends; even her love, Eloka. Yet, she doesn’t lose all. She still has the precious gift of life.

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