Where the Children Take Us: How One Family Achieved the Unimaginable

Amistad: HarperCollins. Apr. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9780063048836. $27.99. SOC SCI
Asher, a CNN International news anchor and sister of Oscar-nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, has written a moving and inspiring memoir about her mother, Obiajulu Ejiofor. Born in Nigeria, as an Igbo she suffered starvation and displacement during the Biafra War of the late 1960s. In her teens, she found an enduring love with Arinze Eljiofor. Together they immigrated to England with the hope of achieving medical degrees and returning to their homeland to start badly needed schools. On the cusp of success, tragedy strikes when Arinze is killed and their son Chiwetel is seriously injured in a car crash during a trip to Nigeria. Asher describes how her grief-stricken mother harnessed the determination she learned from her own mother’s experience of loss and resolve. She instilled in her children pride in their Nigerian heritage and helped them succeed in school despite the racism they faced. Asher writes that drawing on their mother’s strength propelled her and her siblings to careers in business, journalism, acting, and medicine.
VERDICT An inspirational story of resilience that will appeal to readers interested in memoir, parenting, mid-20th century Nigerian and British history, and actor Chiwetel Ejiofor.
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