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Oluwaseyi Adebola in A Cluster Of Petals

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Title: A Cluster Of Petals
Author: Oluwaseyi Adebola
Pages: 169
Publisher: SO4I Education Consultancy
Reviewer: Faith Moyosore Agboola

A cluster Of Petals by Oluwaseyi Adebola is a well-knit collection of stories, reflecting the diversity of human nature, interests and some obscure ills prevalent in our society. It is made up of vibrant stories beaming with great conversational writing and memorable protagonists. Each story is uniquely plotted and delivered with such skill and prowess that readers won’t help but binge read it all at a go.

Two Right Hands is a dive into an age-long battle of societal status and class through the eyes of a young boy whose mind has been clouded by misguided beliefs. As readers, we are unassumingly led to an ending that not only changes this young boy’s life but also breaks us all open into a battlefield of questions, self-reflection and new convictions flying all around as arrows out of our minds. With this maiden story, we are moved and pregnant with expectations about more lessons on life.

The second story, 7 Days, opens to such an intriguing start that we focused to sit up with our seat belts held tightly with anticipation for the exciting ride the author is about to take us on. Exciting the ride was, with each new page opening up so much suspense and intrigue that our eyes are glued to its leaves. Based on a teenage character in boarding school caught in a web of school espionage, we are taken on a beautiful adventure stretching into branches of fear, confusion and addiction towering over us as we read through the story. By the end of the story, and the big reveal that comes with it, our hearts glide desperately in our chests as our skin gushes out sweat to calm the hairs that have been awakened by the stellar plot and writing.

Amusing and intriguing like its name, The Mysterious Matter of Mallam Musa’s Missing Murano, is a comedic story about a Hausa man seeking answers to one biting question: who stole his prized possession? Each line unravels new layers of funny and intriguing revelations that the reader unconsciously takes on the role of co-investigator, scrutinizing each suspect as the story progresses. By the story’s end, there’s sure to be a loud bout of laughter and relief as the Nigerian police are satirised and used creatively as a light to the darkness of questions.

The next five stories are emotionally immersive as they tumble up such distinct stories that hold strong tales of the dark side of life. With each new story, we are successively forced into a quicksand of emotions as we question the complexities of life.

The Growth is a tale of strength afterlife has dealt us a strong blow. It is told by a young woman whose journey through life stretches our emotions and forces us to rethink grief, pain, and sorrow. Madiba’s Growth uses an unlikely point of view to deliver moving questions about the plight of black South Africa. The Letter My Shoe Sent To Me is a graphic depiction of what happens when we get a revelation that leaves us bewildered. ‘Euthanasia’ is a tale of how religion can tear apart even the strongest of bonds – family. And ‘Nostalgia’ shows the vanity of life and how quick the shining lights and cheering crowds can all go off in a flash.

Sam X, a uniquely crafted thriller, The Fourth Wall, an account of doomed love, The Raid, a tale of volcanic lust and How To Be A Maga, a true-life account of how young job seekers are exploited all deliver an exhilarating finish to an already amazing collection.

In all, A cluster of Petals is a beautiful cluster of diverse realities, experiences and journeys all blended colorfully into a work of fiction that stands tall in a world of duplicity. Each story is unique, intriguing and nail-biting in its difference, and by the book’s end, the reader feels a strong sense of fulfillment. This award-winning collection by Oluwaseyi Adebola is a great achievement in literature and should be read by all lovers of fiction.


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