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By: Chukwuebuka Ibeh

Moonlight meets Purple Hibiscus in this gay coming-of-age novel from an astonishing young talent, set in post-military Nigeria and culminating in the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act of 2014.

Obiefuna has always been the black sheep of his family--sensitive where his father, Anozie, is pragmatic, a dancer where his brother, Ekene, is a natural athlete. But when an intimate connection blossoms between Obiefuna and a boy from a nearby village, happiness is fleeting once his father catches them together and banishes him to boarding school.

Obiefuna finds and hides who he truly is as he navigates his new school's strict hierarchy and unpredictable violence. Back home, his mother Uzoamaka must contend with the absence of her beloved son, her husband's cryptic reasons for sending him away, and the hard truths that they've all been hiding from. As Nigeria teeters on the brink of criminalizing same-sex relationships, Obiefuna's life, or the life he wants to live, becomes even further out of a reach and more dangerous than ever before.

Told from the alternating perspectives of Obiefuna and Uzoamaka, Blessings is an elegant and exquisitely moving story that asks how to live freely in a country that forbids one's truest self, and the love that can flourish in spite of it all.

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