Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

On Black Sisters' Street, By Chika Unigwe

A house in Antwerp's red light district is home to four African women who have left their own countries in the hope of a better future.

They've been brought together by Delee, a Nigerian pimp, and by "the trump card that God has wedged in between their legs".

Sisi, around whose story this novel largely revolves, is an ambitious graduate unable to find work back home in Lagos. Efe is a teenage mother; Ama has escaped an abusive childhood only to find herself once again at the behest of violent men.

Joyce, a great beauty, has had her life devastated by war. Writing with great verve and charm, Belgium-based Unigwe describes the parameters of a half-life where dreams of big houses and plait extensions help to block out a grubby reality.

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