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Speak No Evil: A Novel by Uzodinma Iweala

Speak No Evil: A Novel (2016)

by Uzodinma Iweala

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15912110,697 (3.77)12



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I felt such joy for Niru when it seems like he’s finding his way, when he starts to accept who he is and step fully into his identity. And then, and then, and then it’s gone and I’m heartbroken and angry.

This was a beautiful, devastating book. ( )
  Wordbrarian | Mar 5, 2019 |
The internal journey of two young people, Niru and Meredith, who were high school classmates at a private school in DC, he the Harvard bound son of rich Nigerian immigrants and she the daughter of ambitious white DC wannabees. Best friends suddenly brought up short by his realization that he is gay, the climax what today's front page requires. Which is the weakness as well as the strength of the book. Meredith's section deals as much with her post college day adjustment and doesn't seem as real, which may be the point, but doesn't strengthen the book. ( )
  quondame | Feb 20, 2019 |
There is no denying that Iweala is a gifted writer. This book had some of the most artistic prose I have read in awhile, that quickly drew me into this story and made his characters feel so very real. There was so much emotion and heart pouring from the pages I was captivated.
This story was hard though. It was dreary and bleak, and unlike other stories of its kind, I never truly got the impression anything was going to get better for anyone, which made it a harder to read to push through, beautiful as it was.
Still, I loved the messages hiding beneath the words written. The power of words, of what is and what isn't said. The way Iweala split the book into two parts each from a different characters perspective truly highlighted this, and proved that old quote about never knowing someone else's struggles. In Niru's journey I was frustrated and confused by Meredith's absence or seeming lack of care, and yet when it switched to her perspective, suddenly you realize she is battling her own demons, and the story becomes so much richer and deep.
The second half was very hard for me to get through, as emotions ran very high, only proving to me that the writing was so strong and characterization on point. Otherwise I wouldn't have cared so much about Niru and Meredith's journey.
This was a strong novel with a strong cast, good writing, powerful moments, and an important message. Definitely a novel I recommend. ( )
  Kiddboyblue | Feb 13, 2019 |
I love that this book pivoted in the middle into territory I never expected. Niru and Meredith are both such complete, well-drawn characters that I wanted more of them and their relationship. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
TOB 2019. So far I've read 6 2019 TOB's and this is my favorite even thought it's a play in competitor. So why did I like this one? It was readable. It had a message and even though it's been done before, this had a fresh take on it without being too far out there. A lot is packed into a short book. Character development is there and in a way is more important than the plot. Usually I will criticize a book for being too long--that parts or words could have been deleted. In this case, I think the book could have been longer. More could have been explored. But maybe the beauty of this book is it's brevity. It's worth a read. ( )
  kayanelson | Jan 7, 2019 |
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On the surface, Niru leads a charmed life. Raised by two attentive parents in Washington, D.C., he's a top student and a track star at his prestigious private high school. Bound for Harvard in the fall, his prospects are bright. But Niru has a painful secret: he is queer--an abominable sin to his conservative Nigerian parents. No one knows except Meredith, his best friend, the daughter of prominent Washington insiders--and the one person who seems not to judge him. When his father accidentally discovers Niru is gay, the fallout is brutal and swift. Coping with troubles of her own, however, Meredith finds that she has little left emotionally to offer him. As the two friends struggle to reconcile their desires against the expectations and institutions that seek to define them, they find themselves speeding toward a future more violent and senseless than they can imagine. Neither will escape unscathed.--from dust jacket.… (more)

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