I really enjoyed reading Like A Mule Bringing Ice-Cream To The Sun. I enjoyed it for so many reasons.
First of all, it reminded me of one of my favourite series; This Is Us. It reminded me of the sheer connectedness of humanity.
Morayo Da Silva, a cosmopolitan Nigerian woman, lives in hip San Francisco. On the cusp of seventy-five, she is in good health and makes the most of it, enjoying road trips in her vintage Porsche, chatting to strangers, and recollecting characters from her favourite novels. Then she has a fall and her independence crumbles. Without the support of family, she relies on friends and chance encounters. As Morayo recounts her story, moving seamlessly between past and present, we meet Dawud, a charming Palestinian shopkeeper, Sage, a feisty, homeless Grateful Dead devotee, and Antonio, the poet whom Morayo desired more than her ambassador husband. A subtle story about ageing, friendship and loss, this is also a nuanced study of the erotic yearnings of an older woman.
“In dreamlike prose, Manyika dips in and out of her present, her past, in a story that argues always for generosity, for connection, for a vigorous and joyful endurance.” Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club.
At first, I found the first pages difficult and boring. I dropped it for about a week. But I recently travelled from PH to Ibadan by Road and I made up my mind to finish the entire book. It was my companion through out the almost 12hour journey. I finished it. It had a slow beginning. But towards the middle everything began to fall into place. I also think it had a sudden ending. Wasn’t really happy. I wanted more.
Second of all, the theme of ageing and old age was very unique and woven in an exotic style. I loved it.
Do you ever think about yourself at the age of 75? This book would get you thinking about your future. I want to be like Dr. Morayo Da Silva when I’m 75 – old and grey. Toe rings. Hippie. Cool. Expressive. Poetic.
You won’t be young forever and this book makes you come to the realization once again – just incase you forgot.
I loved how the Dr. Morayo told her own story but I really loved how other characters in the book told their own stories. It made perfect sense that I was able to understand and appreciate and see Dr. Morayo better through their eyes – Reggie, Sunshine, Ceaser, Toussaint, The homeless woman etc.
Never have I seen a book addict like Dr. Morayo;
As you will see, I no longer organize my books alphabetically, or arrange them by colour of spine, which was what I used to do. Now the books are arranged according to which characters I believe ought to be talking to each other. That’s why Heart of Darkness is next to Le Regard du Roi, and Wide Sargasso Sea sits directly above Jane Eyre.
So now I’m ready. Except. One more thing. A book. This way, if I’m unlucky enough to sit next to someone crazy, then at least I’ll have something to read.
Then I would sneak off for a smoke in the gardens or a protracted visit to the powder room where I always kept a book of poetry.
Now, as I lie in bed, I close my eyes to better picture my shelves with the spines of my literary friends. I am making a mental list of the books I will lend to Toussaint. I think of James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, and Earnest Gaines as well as C.L.R. James. I suspect, however, that Toussaint’s mother will have already made him read the The Black Jacobins, so that one might not be necessary. And with his interest in Africa I could maybe give him some books on Nigeria. I have a few on Fela. And what about books relating to cooking and chefs? I could lend him The Famished Road and another book by Zola whose title escapes me. Memory.
But I have questions.
1) Why didn’t Sarah Ladipo Mayinka write more about the ambassador? Dr. Morayo’s husband. I disliked him already but I wanted to know more.
2) Did anything bad happen to Touissant?
3) Did Sunshine and her husband live happily ever after? I wanted more for Sunshine!!!
The subtle hint on rape. Sigh.
Whatever the case, I really loved this book and I recommend it.
When I first complained about the slow pace of the book, T of THE BOOKBANQUE mentioned that some books are just meant to be enjoyed. I agree with her. This book is a shift from the norm and I simply enjoyed it.
Title : Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun
Author: Sarah Ladipo Manyika
Publisher: Cassava Republic, 2016
ISBN 1911115057, 9781911115052
Length : 118 pages