Saturday, 27 January 2018

Review: The Last Bus Stop by Molara Wood

The Last Bus Stop The Last Bus Stop by Molara Wood
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Maryam, Ronke and Sade are three young Nigerian women from different tracks in Lagos are trying to make their lives in London - the great leveler. They take joy in each other's company. Ronke is tall and beautiful and is looking for a career in modelling like her heroine Naomi Campbell, but is finding it difficult as rejection after rejection comes because she doesn't have the "look we want" . Ronke also stands out as she listens to classical music, Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, as well as R'n'B, Rap, Afrobeat and Juju. Finding her "look", skin colour, precludes her from much modelling work, she has headed off to New York - the next stop for the jet setting diaspora.
Meanwhile Maryam is struggling, unable to pay her tutition fees because her mother's business back home in Lagos has taken a down turn and then hit by robbers. Maryam feels she can't go back, she'd be seen as a failure. Sade doesn't have the figure for modelling but although raised in Nigeria she was born in the UK and so has that valued "rite of abode" stamp on her Nigerian passport. Unfortunately she cannot help Maryam financially with her fees or visa problems. Thinking she too could be a model, even though she is too short, Maryam tries to follow Ronke, but with a forged passport she gets caught and lands up in a migration detention centre and is to be deported.
This reflection by Sade of their time together takes place between Sade receiveing Maryam's call and her calling Ronke in NY.

ashramblings verdict 2 * Not much else to the story - for me it lacks substance - but we do understand how the differences between them impact them and how they are aware that only in London would the three of them ever have met, their Lagos circles would never have overlapped. But that London has and is wrenching them apart. The joys of each other's company fated to be but a memory recalled on every hearing of the Moonlight Sonata.

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