Read In Dependence by Sarah Ladipo Manyika Online


It is the early sixties when a young Tayo Ajayi sails to England from Nigeria to take up a scholarship at Oxford University. In this city of dreaming spires, he finds himself among a generation high on visions of a new and better world. The whole world seems ablaze with change: independence at home, the Civil Rights movement and the first tremors of cultural and sexual revIt is the early sixties when a young Tayo Ajayi sails to England from Nigeria to take up a scholarship at Oxford University. In this city of dreaming spires, he finds himself among a generation high on visions of a new and better world. The whole world seems ablaze with change: independence at home, the Civil Rights movement and the first tremors of cultural and sexual revolutions. It is then that Tayo meets Vanessa Richardson, the beautiful daughter of an ex-colonial officer. In Dependence is Tayo and Vanessa's story of a brave but bittersweet love affair. It is the story of two people struggling to find themselves and each other - a story of passion and idealism, courage and betrayal, and the universal desire to fall, madly, deeply, in love....

Title : In Dependence
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781906558048
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

In Dependence Reviews

  • Andrew
    2019-02-02 01:48

    I love the opening line of this book:"One could begin with the dust, the heat and the purple bougainvillea. One might even begin with the smell of rotting mangos tossed by the side of the road where the flies hummed and green-bellied lizards bobbed their orange heads while loitering in the sun. But why start there when Tayo walked in silence, oblivious to his surroundings."Sarah Ladipo Manyika's concern is with character, not with exoticism. If a Londoner like me went to Nigeria, I'm sure I would notice the dust, the heat, the bougainvillea, the mangos and so on. But it's not what the character is noticing, so it's not what we're told about. There are no colourful backdrops here for Westerners to gorge on - they have been replaced by believable characters, struggling with familiar problems like lost love, betrayal, regret, guilt and the difficult balance between responsibility to others and responsibility to oneself.Specifically, the novel deals with the difficult relationship between Tayo, a young Nigerian on a scholarship to Oxford, and Vanessa, a British colonial officer's daughter. As an interracial couple in 1960s Britian, they face racism from passersby, policemen and notably Vanessa's father, and Tayo also worries about whether his own family will accept Vanessa, and whether she will be able to live in African society. Many of the problems, however, are of their own making - they hold back from saying what they feel, they miscommunicate, they misunderstand, they lash out, they are unfaithful. And then fate and politics intervene at crucial points - as Tayo is about to propose, he gets a telegram saying his father is dying and he has to return to Nigeria. A military coup prevents him from returning. Much later, he is about to visit Vanessa in England but is arrested on his way to the airport.I kept waiting for the happy ever after moment, but to my relief it never came. The ending is happy in a way, but this is certainly not a traditional romance. By the end of the book, there's a glimmer of happiness but much has been lost. The characters' trajectory mirrors that of Nigeria, as the optimism of independence is replaced by cynicism, outside exploitation and internal corruption, until finally, at the end, there's some tentative hope for the future. I don't think the characters are meant to 'stand for' the political developments in a literal way, but there's the same sense of progress at a great price, bitter lessons learned, opportunities missed, hopes clouded by the memory of mistakes and failures.One downside of Manyika's strong emphasis on character was that, for me, sometimes the characters' thoughts and emotions were excavated too thoroughly. Although the narration is in the third person, we have full access to all the thoughts and feelings of both Tayo and Vanessa - the narrative switches back and forth between one point of view and the other. The good part of this is that we get to know the characters very well, but I would have preferred for some of the character development to be shown through their actions and words so that I could guess or interpret their real feelings, rather than having it all laid out for me.Still, I enjoyed the book very much, both for the love story of Tayo and Vanessa at its core and for the way political changes and ideas from Nigeria to Oxford to San Francisco are woven into the story. And, most of all, for focusing on the characters instead of the mangos!

  • Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
    2019-01-31 18:47

    I had to get this book through Interlibrary Loan, because none of the excellent libraries to which I have access had a copy. Now I know why.In Dependence is the rather diffuse tale of Tayo, a Nigerian who studies in England as a young man, and Vanessa, a woman with whom he becomes involved. The author has a lot of ideas, a lot she wants to say about being a student in the ‘60s, about the relationship between Europe and Africa, about writing about Africa and about intercultural romance (I wrote “interracial” first but the cultural aspect is most prominent in this book). But the plot clunks along, the first half focusing on a mundane romance and the second half trying to cover everything that happens to the characters forever after. Meanwhile, neither the characters nor the settings are fully developed; the book never quite brings to life the dynamism of student life in the 60s, and even the main characters have to do with one or two traits apiece.Meanwhile, the presentation doesn’t help. There’s a general lack of commas, resulting in run-on sentences; there are continuity errors (Suleiman was a baby in 1970 but 18 in the mid-90s?); there’s word misuse, as in, “a ladder of taught muscles” and a “clothes shop come tailoring business, come secretarial services” (sic). The decision to italicize whenever characters are speaking Nigerian English is weird and distracting. Overall, this reads like an amateur effort by someone with a lot of ideas but who hasn’t quite mastered the nuts and bolts of fiction.Interestingly, there are more reviews of this book on Amazon than Goodreads (which is almost never the case) and those Amazon reviews are overwhelmingly positive, in sharp contrast to the Goodreads average rating. A couple of the Amazon reviewers mention some relationship with the author, and I can't help suspecting that several more neglected to mention it.

  • Mandy
    2019-02-16 01:57

    In 1963 young Tayo Ajayi sets sail from Nigeria to take up a scholarship at Balliol in Oxford. Nigeria has been independent from British colonial rule for just 3 years and Tayo is part of the newly educated generation eager to take up educational opportunities abroad so that they can return to their country and help it become successful. With high hopes for the future of Nigeria and confident in his own ability to make a difference, Tayo throws himself into Oxford life, but a romantic attachment to a white English girl, Vanessa, derails his plans. Drawn to each other in spite of their widely different backgrounds, they find that interracial and intercultural relationships offer many, and sometimes insuperable, challenges. This is a though-provoking and immensely engaging novel, which covers 4 decades from the 60s to the 90s in England, Nigeria and America. Decades of change and progress in some aspects, but decades of political upheaval in Nigeria itself. Tayo’s life is set against the trajectory of Nigeria’s political history – the military coups, corruption, ineffectual leadership and an economy in freefall. Tayo is caught between his duty and what his heart urges him to do. On the one hand this is a poignant love story, a story of mistakes and regrets and longing, and at the same time a story of political and cultural change and upheaval. Manyika handles the complexities of her subject with skill and empathy. The pacing is just right and the characterization authentic with well-rounded and sympathetic personalities. The historical background is interleaved with the narrative to good effect. All in all I found this an immensely enjoyable novel and I am surprised that it is not better known. Originally published in 2010, it deserves a wide readership and I have no hesitation in recommending it.

  • Sami Tunji
    2019-02-20 01:55

    Although I love this novel, I'm afraid that it seems as if contemporary Africans in diaspora love stories are creating a stereotype story. The stereotype story is captured in this novel: "Her mother had told her that there was a saying among Hausa that a person never married their first love. A person always married someone else, but later in life that person would be reunited with their first love. The Hausa apparently even had a phrase for it: they called it the pick-up-your-stick-and-sandals marriage..." (209). I am not sure how true this is, but this stereotype story is evident in Chimamanda Adichie's Americanah. Anyway, it appears to be a parody of fairy tales love story.Manyika's novel is beautiful, however. The reader sees and senses the rhythm of the beauty from the first sentence of the novel. My favourite sentence in the novel is "Uncle Bola believed only in beautiful women - not Allah, Christ, nor Ogun" (7).

  • Chi-Chi
    2019-02-22 18:03

    I really enjoyed this novel a great deal. It had been sitting on my shelf for some time, given to me by a friend. Manyika's story is wonderfully told. She is sensitive to the complexity of love and human emotion as well as to the impact culture has on us and on how we behave. She manages to steer clear of stereotypes and creates robust and very real characters.

  • Mary
    2019-02-06 18:00


  • Tawnya
    2019-02-20 23:49

    There was so much of my story in this story: identity; change; falling madly, deeply in love. Thanks for sharing, Ruth!

  • Aliyu
    2019-01-27 22:11

    I finished reading In Dependence by Sarah Ladipo Mayinka and my was it a read! In a very long while I've not been sucked into a story like this one. Emotionally, it was superb in evoking feelings, the characters were excellent and the plot was so real that I kept reminding myself it's actually fiction evwn as I wondered whether it happened in real life. Set across the decades from Nigeria's independence to the 2000s it takes one on a journey of a young man's sojourn abroad, finding love, return to Nigeria, his losses, twists of fate, dreams of better future and the several tragedies in his life all interspersed within the fabric of Nigeria's turbulent history since independence with a theme rich in culture and art. I will definitely be looking for another of the author’s publications: Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream To The Sun.

  • Afoma Umesi
    2019-02-09 23:04

    3.5 stars. I was torn on this one because I enjoyed parts of it tremendously. The love story between Tayo and Vanessa is moving, but at times, the novel felt too slow for me. At other times it felt like things were moving too fast, especially toward the end. Maybe this is how life is. I enjoyed Manyika’s exploration of Nigerian history and the immigrant experience in the early 60’s and 70’s. It would make for a great movie. Tayo’s repeatedly poor choices were annoying to me, even though I understood his general trepidation. There are also times in the story when Vanessa’s character felt contrived. It was a bit up and down for me, this one. I would however still recommend this book because it tackled many important issues from interracial coupling to colonialism and more.

  • Omotola
    2019-02-06 21:47

    in dependence is one of such novel I read that I almost forgot it was a friction.The writer decides the character,their characteristics, lives and also the way the reader would feel it was emotion provoking and full of surprises.though I kept telling myself to stop been emotional and be critical.nothing really matters to me at first except the love story of Tayo and Vanessa(the beginning .,middle &how it gonna end) I imagined a lot and just like the writer said ''I like to dream,and when have not?I was born with a restlessness in my soul,the restlessness of an artist who is never fully satisfied''.it was a wonderful experience going through the book

  • Lydia Ume
    2019-02-06 22:49

    The storyline was great but somehow I expected more. Some places just moved too fast or too little information given leaving the reader wondering what just happened e.g Christine's death, Tayo's affairs, the ending.It felt like the author was in a hurry to finish this book.

  • Sagbodje Precious
    2019-01-23 19:06

    Had a great start...just that:" a great start". Afterwards it was just difficult to read

  • Happy Ossai
    2019-02-20 22:53


  • Kponi Kponi
    2019-02-16 19:59

    This exceedingly Awesome. A must read!!

  • Modupeoluwa54
    2019-02-16 22:04


  • Read In Colour
    2019-02-16 00:00

    I wish I could have liked this book more than I did. It was just an okay story line with okay characters. Tayo's life in Nigeria pre-Oxford was far more interesting than his life in England. In addition, Tayo's life outside of his relationship with Vanessa was much more interesting than his life with her.When they first meet, Tayo and Vanessa are drawn to each other, him to her because she's different than women he knows in Nigeria, her to him because she seems to have a fascination with all things from the continent of Africa. As their relationship progresses, it seems that her love for him is also rooted in antagonizing her conservative, colonialist father. While she watches other interracial relationships around them implode, she begins to wonder if she is simply something for Tayo to do until he meets a Nigerian woman, as she's witnessed with friends of his.Called back home to Nigeria, Tayo leaves England with every intention of returning to Vanessa. Delayed first by his father's illness and then by a military coup, Tayo resigns himself to staying in Nigeria and marrying a local woman. A chance meeting with Vanessa many years later provides him with an opportunity to rekindle his romance with her, but just like their earlier encounters, it feels stiff and wooden.I can't really tell if it was the author's intention or perhaps the words she chose to describe the characters and/or put in their mouths, but at no point did I ever feel like the two characters were really in love. Though the book did a good job of highlighting the civil uprising in Nigeria and capturing the feel of 1960s England, it just wasn't enough to really hold my attention. I made it through the book, but left it not really caring about the characters or their future.

  • Elaine
    2019-02-23 02:05

    A cross-cultural, cross-racial love story that bridges 4 decades -- starting with the one where Britain reluctantly gave up its African colonies. Vanessa and Tayo meet at Oxford in the 60s and grapple with their personal differences, choices, and world views just as the British (from privileged colonial officers to racist thugs in Bradford) grapples with the legacy of their colonial past and Nigerians grapples with their new independence and role as a potentially prosperous oil-rich nation. Lots of great dialogue -- in several languages -- including ones that I'd never thought I'd understand. Manyika deftly weaves a complex love story into a story rich with political history. Highly recommend!

  • Benjamin
    2019-02-11 17:47

    I had to read this book all our incoming first-year students were required to read it. It was all right. Basically a love story between a Nigerian man and a British woman and how they negotiate their cultural differences. Interesting themes of identity and multiculturalism and all that, but I didn't much care for the characters and was annoyed at all the various poor choices they made along the way. Basically, the book doesn't end on a happy ending because of the mistakes that the characters made throughout their lives. It happens in real life, but I like to read books for escapism and I don't like unhappy endings. But what can you do?

  • Juanita
    2019-02-10 22:08

    This book has reinforced my love for historical fiction. I'll keep it short. From start to finish I was enthralled and captivated by the sheer narrative brilliance. Like i always say, books which do this for me are rare. I like the portrayal of the relationship between Vanessa and Tayo, the realism of interracial relationships in the era of colonialism, and the years after. The progression in the plot is steady, and you never once have to ask yourself where the action is going to set in. This was a great book, well written and delivered excellently.

  • Maria
    2019-02-11 18:04

    One of my colleagues lent me this book written by one of her professors. I like the first half of it very much as it shows the identity struggles that international students face both abroad and once they return home.

  • Chinenye Ikwueme
    2019-01-31 02:11

    It's hard not to love this book for it's simplicity. It's quite broad but the author manages to keep it all in check without losing the reader. The ending sucks though, but I guess that's what reality feels like most times, we don't get to end with the ones we really care about.