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“Chukwuebuka Ibeh’s writing has a certain delicacy to it, so wonderfully observant, and so beautiful.”
—Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, author of Americanah

A powerful portrait of sexual awakening and self-acceptance set in a Nigeria on the brink of criminalizing same-sex relationships.

Uzoamaka’s miracle baby, Obiefuna, arrives after a series of miscarriages. As a young boy, he brings luck to his family and joy to those in his orbit, from the teachers at his school to the ladies getting their hair braided at Uzoamaka’s salon. But by adolescence, Obiefuna has grown unsure of himself. After his father brings home an apprentice from a nearby village, the lightness Obiefuna feels is quickly dashed when the two are caught sharing a moment of intimacy.

Without explanation, Obiefuna is sent off to Christian boarding school, where he must navigate strict codes, hierarchies, and alliances among his new classmates. There, he internalizes the lesson that he must hide his true self, pushing away those who may have otherwise brought him comfort. Back home, Uzoamaka must contend with the absence of her beloved son, her husband’s cryptic reasons for sending him away, and realizations that were within her all along.

Told from the alternating perspectives of Obiefuna and Uzoamaka, as they reach towards a future that will hold them both, Blessings is an elegant rendering of the compromises made in a country that forbids homosexuality and the love that can flourish in spite of them—among friends and partners, but also between a parent and child.