The Son of the House

Overview

WINNER — Best International Fiction Book Award, 2019 Sharjah International Book Fair

The lives of two Nigerian women divided by class and social inequality intersect when they're kidnapped, held captive and forced to await their fate together.

In the Nigerian city of Enugu, young Nwabulu, a housemaid since the age of ten, dreams of becoming a typist as she endures her employers’ endless chores. She is tall and beautiful and in love with a rich man’s son.

Educated and privileged, Julie is a modern woman. Living on her own, she is happy to collect the gold jewellery lovestruck Eugene brings her, but has no intention of becoming his second wife.

When a kidnapping forces Nwabulu and Julie into a dank room years later, the two women relate the stories of their lives as they await their fate.

Pulsing with vitality and intense human drama, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia’s debut is set against four decades of vibrant Nigeria, celebrating the resilience of women as they navigate and transform what remains a man’s world.

Awards

Winner
Best International Fiction Book Award, Sharjah International Book Fair
2019

Reviews

The Son of the House is filled with drama and loss and hope, weaving together the lives of these women who help each other navigate the patriarchal society that threatens to smother them... Onyemelukwe-Onuobia leaves the readers with no choice but to identify with these women, to understand them and to feel their pain. It’s beautifully written and intimate; an incredible first novel and hopefully the first of many.

City Press

A powerful and intimate narrative of bravery, of overcoming personal injustice, and having the strength to face difficult truths about oneself.

Sunday Times

About the Author