Riding Rebel by Kiru Taye, is the last installment in The Essien Trilogy. This book told the story of Tony, the youngest of Chief Essien’s sons. In the first two books we got a glimpse at the family dynamics among the three sons, Felix, Mark and Tony and their parents Chief and Angela. These dynamics were crucial to the plot of this book.
To discover the troubled past of Tony and how it is directly related to his position in the family and his attempt to live up to their expectations, without losing himself, was the main point of the book. This book definitely did not make me like Angela, Mark and Tony’s mother, any more. I did not like her in Making Scandal and definitely do not like her character after reading this book. The way she treated Rita, Tony’s love interest, just like the way she treated Faith, shows that she herself was a gold-digger and expects all women to act like her.
As I felt when reading the first two installments, I loved how Ms. Taye infused Nigerian and some other African cultures into the book. From some of the language, to the village marriage customs, to meals, it made this book more authentic. I use the term authentic because most books I read are written by American authors, or in an attempt to portray an American reality. Ms. Taye is Nigerian and writes her books from that reality. This perspective allows her readers to see a glimpse of another world, but not a made up fantasy.
The only part I did not enjoy was the handling of the rape. I felt it was glossed over and did not accurately portray how the woman would have reacted after the fact.
This book is part of a trilogy and is best read in order with the other two.
-Reviewed by Selina