Reading the Ceiling
by Dayo Forster
Destiny can be decided in a moment. Reading the Ceiling is a remarkable achievement: fresh, funny and wholly authentic, it paints a compelling portrait of the modern African experience for women, and introduces a stunning new voice to contemporary fiction. Ayodele has just turned 18. It's definitely a milestone, but it isn't the only one: she's also decided -- having now reached womanhood -- that the time is right to lose her virginity. It's an understandable decision, but what she doesn't yet know is that her choice of suitor will have a drastic effect on the rest of her life... Three men. Three paths. One will send Ayodele to Europe, to University and to a very different life -- but it will be a voyage strewn with heartache. Another will send her around the globe on an epic journey, transforming her beyond recognition but at the cost of an almost unbearable loss. And another will see her remain in Africa, a wife and mother caught in a polygamous marriage. Each will change her irrevocably: but which will she choose? In Reading the Ceiling, we are given the opportunity to see all three and the scope of Ayodele's journeys is a beautiful testimony to the nature of fate, destiny, hope and love. In witnessing her transformations, Forster brilliantly captures the truth of what it means to be human, and what happens when what we do dictates what we are then forced to live with.