Soulful Return by Fidelis O. Mkparu
Publisher: DX Varos Publishing (November 22, 2022)
Category: General Fiction, Literary Fiction, African-American Fiction, Immigrant Experience
Available in Print and ebook, 332 pages
“The hounding voice inside me would not let go.”
Thus begins the emotional journey of Afamefuna Onochie Nwaku, a Harvard-trained medical doctor with a career most can only dream of, a loving wife, and supportive family. Then, he receives a telephone call from his sister who lives in Nigeria that her life is being threatened.
Left with no other fair choice, Afam leaves behind his family, throwing his marriage into turmoil and risking the life he has built in Boston. Instead of the Nigeria that he loves, that he needs, he finds a land and people he barely recognizes waiting for him. Afam decides to stay but realizes that his future in Nigeria is as murky as the River-Niger after a torrential tropical rainfall.
As Afam sets out on a journey to reconnect with the family and heritage that he left behind, he must face new enemies in an increasingly corrupt Nigeria where many people see him as an American intruder. And through it all, he must fight to keep his family together—and alive.
Guest Review by Sal
“I watched as waves cascaded up my ankles and bobbed to a rhythm like drumbeats, the ceremonial drumbeats of my ancestral home, the type that made dancing feet float in the air and twirling waists reach their breaking point.”
Set in both Boston and Nigeria, Fidelis O. Mkparu’s amazing novel, ‘Soulful Return,’ is an exploration of the ties that bind us and how it feels to return to the place that you thought you called home.
After being sent to Boston as a young man to attend medical school, 60-year-old Afamefuna Onochie Nwaku receives a call from his sister that forces him to return home.
Afamefuna’s sister, Adaku, is being threatened by local men who wish to take over their father’s land. At the end of her rope, she demands that her brother return home to claim his ancestral lands and protect them from the men.
Although Afamefuna’s wife protests and eventually stays in Boston without him, he decides to return to Nigeria and to his father’s house. Immediately upon returning, however, he discovers that in the 25 years since he last visited, the country has changed in many upsetting ways.
After a harrowing journey home to his ancestral village that includes being asked by policemen for bribes and almost capsizing in a boat, Afamefuna returns to see that his parents’ house has remained the same since their death, but the politics around the land have changed.
This is a story that is somehow both quiet and electric all at once. Having never read any of Mkparu’s work before, I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this, but I knew it was going to be an excellent novel from the very first page.
I couldn’t get enough of this book and didn’t want it to end. Five stars!
Advance Praise for Soulful Return
“Mkparu has created a masterpiece of immigrant experience and connection, outlining many of the forces that influence and stress modern Africans and Americans alike.” — D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review
About the Author
Multi award winning author, Fidelis O. Mkparu is a Nigerian immigrant in the U.S. who wishes to speak to his experiences and those of his fellow immigrants. He is a professor of Medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University and a senior attending cardiologist at Aultman Hospital and Mercy Medical Center in Canton, Ohio. Previously, he was a Spaulding fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard Medical School.
His preceding novels include Love’s Affliction and Tears Before Exaltation.
This giveaway is for 3 print or ebook copies. Print is open to the U.S. only and ebook is open worldwide. This giveaway ends on November 24, 2022 midnight, pacific time. Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only.
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Bee Book Pleasures Nov 17 Review & Interview
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Nora S. Storeybook Reviews Nov 22 Review & Guest Post
Ellen Goodreads Nov 23 Review
Awards and Praise for Fidelis O. Mkparu
2018 EVVY winner, Literary & Contemporary Fiction for Tears Before Exaltation.
Silver Medal: Nautilus Book Awards, Fiction 2016 for Love’s Affliction.
Reader Views Literary Award Winner 2015/2016 for Love’s Affliction.
Finalist 2015: INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award, Multicultural Fiction for Love’s Affliction.
“A must-read, Love’s Affliction is an exceptionally gripping and poignant story. While intense throughout, there is resolution – and not quite what one may expect!”—San Francisco Book Review
“An exceptionally well crafted work, “Love’s Affliction” is an engaging and extraordinary multi-cultural novel that documents author Fidelis O. Mkparu as a talented, first class storyteller. “Love’s Affliction” is very highly recommended for personal reading lists and would prove to be a valued addition to community library Contemporary Fiction collections.”—Midwest Book Review