“The Visit” by acclaimed author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, is a standalone short published under ‘Amazon Originals’. It starts off great – a Nigerian protagonist is watching the American President on the news. The Prez is a woman talking about a man’s right to pleasure himself and how spending one’s seed without any motive to reproduce should be illegal. Yes… It’s an alternative universe, where women rule the world and men look after the children.
While the first few pages are witty, intriguing and fun, the novelty of this alternate world wears off quickly. And despite being less than 25 pages long, the short story quickly gets stale. It’s literally just an average tale, where all expectations/responsibilities/moral codes piled on women, are instead imposed on men. So while biologically it’s still women who get pregnant, it’s the men who are expected to marry quickly, be house-husbands, care for the children, dress modestly and turn a blind eye to their wives’ transgressions.
The protagonist is Obinna, an aspiring poet, who puts his writing dreams on the backburner to marry the woman he falls in love with. In some bits, it feels like the writer is trying to parody the styles of literary stars from the Victorian era, where instead of the heroine, it’s the hero who dwells seriously upon the choice of his clothes and the colors of his curtains. It would definitely make a very insightful read for men, who don’t understand just how sexist/patriarchal our world still is. However, for women readers, this fiction story doesn’t have a lot to offer. ‘The Visit’ reminded of a different book called “In Other Worlds” by Sarah Rees Brennan, where a certain clan is women-led, and Brennan does a hilariously entertaining job of reversing power balance between the genders.
Chimamanda’s writing style is engaging, but the charm fades away soon. Due to an intriguing cover picture, I was expecting some sort of a twist in the end, but nothing really happens. It was a pretty flat climax that makes you wonder why you bothered at all.
It’s a 2.5/5 from me.
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Episode 74 – 10 Book Reviews Under 10 Minutes #13thEdition