***** Read, Cry, Scream, Cry Again                                       Review by Rox Burkey

The cover is beyond perfect for this story.  Author Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko gives the reader how to overcome oppression that begins early in her life. Birth order has its drawbacks in this case. Justina is a well-developed character that grows throughout the story. Her early trials in rural Nigeria clearly paint a picture of the prejudiced attitude prevalent in the 1960s. This talented, committed young girl wants her education and is not afraid to work to earn it.  Winning a scholarship to expand her studies in Italy opens the door to hope. Her remarkable attitude is the element that tips the scale.

This motivational story shows the value of grit and tenacity against the odds. When Justina takes a trip abroad, her integrity, the others are questioned against a powerful adversary. The girls stick to the facts and gain a foothold into believability. I appreciated the following description as it illustrates how some people can only feel power by lying.

“Everything in the trunk had been ransacked. She had gone into all our bags and ransacked them, with the exception of her own bag. She couldn’t have known that I had put her passport in the side pocket of her bag after she’d refused to take it back in Hamburg. When I saw that she hadn’t ransacked her bag, I told the policemen to search Vero’s bag for her passport. They did and found her passport where I said it was.

“Whose bag is this?” he inquired.

“Vero’s bag,” we girls chorused.

 “Ma’am, is this your bag?” The policeman showed her the bag, and she nodded to indicate that it was. “And is this your passport?” He showed her the passport. Again, she nodded. The policeman walked away with her bag and passport to his car to confer with the other officers. They returned after a while without the bag or the passport.

“You all have to follow us to the station.”

Justina (Tina) grows into a confident person who won’t simply accept the pain of being controlled by anyone except herself. The maturity she shows after her baby died made my heart swell with hope for her survival. People need friends, however trusting people can be hard when you have been hurt so much.

We all face hurdles while growing, but the one faced by Justina are daunting to say the least.  I recommend this book to anyone who wants to be charged with the possibilities of overcoming the odds. It may help you discover your inner strength. I am in awe of this writer and this story!

About the Author

Joy Nwosu was born in Enugu, Anambra State of south-eastern Nigeria. Her parents were Charles Belonwu and Deborah Nwosu. She is the fifth in rank of the seven children of her parents. Joy was born into a music family.

Joy, now retired, was a music teacher, trained in Santa Cecilia, Rome, and obtained her Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Michigan, USA.

She has written and published extensively on national and international scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers. 

Her short story I Come from Utopia was published in African Voices, Spring/Summer, 2007, pg. 18, and her first English novel; Mirror of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women was published in 2011, and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Contest in 2012. She has also two books published in the Italian language.

Joy is a trained musician and taught music for 35 years.  She writes, performs, and record folk songs.
Her new book: The Legend of the Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies, which has just been released, is a journey into the mysteries of life and death of the Igbos of Nigeria.  She loves reading romances and mystery stories.

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