By Sandra Whiteley
“By My Own Hands” Jude Idada’s first novel is a dramatic journey into what drives us as human beings. Whether it is love, greed, revenge or just the pursuit of a better life, Mr. Idada delves into the darker recesses of the human existence.
Set both in Toronto, Canada and Lagos, Nigeria we follow people who are linked by disaster and desire. Mr. Idada is a very visual writer so when he takes us through a marketplace in Lagos or through a busy street in Toronto we can see the colours, feel the vibration and our nostrils are filled with the smells of the city.
On a deeper level the novel makes a clear statement about the promise of a better life in a western country and how that promise is betrayed, leaving hopes dashed and worlds disillusioned.
Although in the beginning, the characters were a little difficult to follow, as the novel progresses they become lifelike and a part of our existence.
This reader found that Mr. Idada’s depiction of life in Lagos was a little sharper than that of life in Toronto however, the effect of them being in juxtaposition, created an understanding of the differences and the similarities in our worlds.
When writing love scenes Mr. Idada is not at all prudish. They are tactile and passionate. These scenes propel the story by underlining exactly what people are prepared to do to get what they want.
If “By My Own Hands” is indicative of Mr. Idada’s style, I am looking forward to his next effort.
Sandra Whiteley is a documentary filmmaker and avid reader based in Toronto, Canada. The majority of her films are oriented to human rights and social justice. Rehabilitation of ex child soldiers in Liberia, extra judicial killings in the Philippines, killing of union leaders in Colombia, Israeli Settlements in Hebron, Canadian mining company human rights infractions in Guatemala and Voodoo in Haiti have all been subjects Ms Whiteley has brought to film. She is currently in pre-production on “The Room” a film that tells the story of the world’s newest country, South Sudan, through the recollections of South Sudanese refugees who have become musicians.