Review: Home by Nnedi Okorafor

bintihomeSeries: Binti #2
Published by: Macmillan-Tor/Forge
ISBN: 0765393107
ISBN 13: 9780765393104
Published: January 2017
Pages: 160
Format reviewed: eVersion from NetGalley
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Five out of Five

The second in the series, this novella-length piece continues Binti’s story. In the first, we meet Binti who is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University – an amazing place of study that has a human population of 5%. To say that leaving her family and her people behind is hard is an understatement, it simply isn’t done and there’s little chance of going back thanks to the shame she’s now brought her family for leaving, and utterly ruining her marriage prospects. This is soon the least of her worries though, as the journey to the uni takes a turn for the worst no one could have expected…

We now see Binti a year on from the first in the series, and she’s learnt utterly amazing things during her time at the university. She finds maths soothing (such a foreign concept to me) though this is quickly turned on its head as it does something she’s not expecting. From this, she decides she needs to return home to complete her pilgrimage and she’ll take her friend, Okwu home with her, as an ambassador for their people thanks to the recent peace treaty – none of Okwu’s people have been on Earth since the war (more than one hundred years ago) and from what we see in the first 15 pages… perhaps Okwu’s nature isn’t exactly the type to take on a first trip home…

As we saw in the first book, Okorafor’s words are beyond amazing. In such a short novella we get such a masterpiece of worldbuilding and character study – reversing what we saw in the first of a coming-of-age novel to now the what does it mean to go home, what does home mean, and what does it mean to be family – especially when cultures are involved where family means so much. Both are powerful pieces, and Binti herself is a joy to behold.

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