April 2, 2010 at 8:18 pm #229PaulaParticipant
A Worthy Legacy by Tomi Akinyanmi
Reviewed By Paula
When I commenced reading A Worthy Legacy by Tomi Akinyanmi, I immediately thought of the wise words in A Gift From The Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and Kahlil Gibran's masterpiece, The Prophet. Lindbergh wrote her book while contemplating life by the seashore one summer, using sea shells as a metaphor to capture the essence of life. Gibran's words were spoken through a mysterious prophet on love and the universe. Akinyanmi addresses similar issues through the voices of a young woman and the woman's beloved Grandpa. The inspiration for the author's story is based on her own personal experiences.
A Worthy Legacy comprises 101 pages with a beautifully designed cover jacket, and a very organized format within the book. Akinyanmi acknowledges her first love is poetry and she puts her poetic talent to good use in the book. The inclusion of her poetry enhances and strengthens each specific message passed on to the reader. The author tackles many difficult moral and ethical issues in a non-confrontational manner by utilizing simplicity and beauty in word structure.
The story commences with a young woman who is travelling back to her home village somewhere in Nigeria, to have one last opportunity to see her beloved Grandpa. His hour of death is fast approaching and his family and extended families are gathering round his bed. Grandpa wishes to speak.
In a beautiful excerpt at the beginning of Grandpa's address, he tells his family, "I have little property to bequeath, and it's neither silver nor gold. I have no diamonds to leave as inheritances to you. What I have to give are words, and they are more precious than any other thing I could give you". Grandpa then proceeds to discuss character, tough times, happiness, cycle of life, a God, and many more moral and philosophical questions. Readers from all walks of life will relate to the beauty of her poetry and the power of prose.
The book is divided into Part I with the Grandpa speaking his words of wisdom, and Part II, understanding the essence of the words he shared with his family and the granddaughter. It is also in this latter section, that the granddaughter finds the secret journal she and Grandpa shared and through reading the last journal entry from her Grandpa, she realizes with great clarity what he was truly asking of her, "Suddenly I knew what I had to do. I couldn't keep his message to myself; it was much bigger than I".
I found a paragraph or two within A Worthy Legacy that could have had more clarity, however it was not a distraction from the story. Tomi Akinyanmi received the Reader Views, 2009 Reviewers Choice Award for this book. Overall a lovely written book and the author should be proud of her accomplishment.
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